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“From Big Bang to Big Mystery”

The course will be coordinated by Paul O’Hara


Artistic, scientific, philosophic and theological perspective on the human mystery


Beginning 13 January, 2017 Sophia University Institute will offer a series of eight lectures entitled “From Big Bang to Big Mystery”. The course will be coordinated by Prof. Paul O’Hara from the department of philosophy and theology. It will meet on Friday evenings from 20:00 to 21:30, in the Aula Magna of Sophia. It will conclude with an international symposium from 20 – 21 May, 2017.


The course is in response to the request from numerous friends who are not regular students of Sophia but are interested in broadening their cultural knowledge and participating in dialogue related to current issues from the prospective of a culture of unity.


The initiative is an expression of the Cattedra di Sophia in honour of Piero Pasolini (1917- 1981), astrophysicist, scientist and philosopher, and will commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his birth. Its main objective is to investigate the mystery of human existence from the perspective of a modern evolutionary paradigm.


Where do we come from and where are we going? The course will explore the human quest for meaning by asking the tough questions that have intrigued humanity since its beginning. The specific contributions of classical Greek culture, Jewish civilization and the Christian experience will be examined along with scientific, philosophical, theological and artistic perspectives. We will try to provide some keys for interpreting the main narratives of creation from the Big Bang to what we may call the "Big Mystery". The course will conclude with a reflection on the life and meaning of the church, including the "Marian profile."


Calendar of the events 2017, themes and speakers of Sophia:

• January 13: Who are we? Brief introduction to the thought of Piero Pasolini
(Piero Coda, Paul O'Hara)
• January 27: Big-Bang cosmology -- the quest begins (Sergio Rondinara)
• February 10: Evolution and Homo Sapiens
- Does the quest has meaning (Sergio Rondinara)
• February 24: Do the robots think like us?
- No quest at all (Paul O'Hara)
• March 17: The experience of the Greeks
- An inner quest (Valentina Gaudiano)
• March 24: The Jewish experience
- A historical quest (Giovanna Porrino)
• April 7: The Christian experience
- A transcendent quest (Gérard Rosse)
• April 21: The Mystery and the Church
- The quest between "already and not yet" (Alessandro Clemenzia)


For further information and registration details contact us or calls us at: 055 9051509.


Who is Piero Pasolini?

Born in 1917 into a large family in Borghi, near Rimini, he dedicated his life to the Focolare movement after he met Chiara Lubich in the 1940s. After finishing his studies in physics he served the nascent Movement full time, first in Italy and later in other European and African countries. "Messenger of unity, man of science and faith," Piero Pasolini is remembered not only for his many works of science, but also for his tireless gifts to fulfill the real needs of many in a concrete way, "always with a screwdriver in his pocket”.

Among his unforgettable achievements, is the construction of a hydro-power station in the equatorial forest of Fontem, Cameroon. Through the work of his hands the shell of a large unexploded bomb, a sad remnant of the war, was converted into a turbine spinner.

Often traveling, he would stop in Loppiano to speak with the youth from around the world. "His writings - said Chiara Lubich - reached the five continents for the originality of his thought, which served as a synthesis between his Christian faith, imbued with the charisma of the Movement, and his deep knowledge of science". His earthly life came to an end in January 1981 in Nairobi, in the beloved continent, to which he gave so much. During the meeting with some young people, only a day before, he mentioned that "life is the organized expression of love, love that is the highest form of intelligence."

Author: Redazione Web
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