A Tiny New Candle, Happy Birthday Sophia! 2/2

A Tiny New Candle, Happy Birthday Sophia! 2/2

Second part


"The presentation entrusted to President Piero Coda, who was reconfirmed as ‘helmsman’ of the IUS, was as awaited as every other year, to explore the nautical charts aboard, the strategic importance of the new academic year.
Three new specializations were introduced – Economy and Management, Political Studies, and Trinitarian Ontology –and, having thus come to the end of the first four years ad experimentum, we are now” working at revising the Statutes, in view of the definitive approval  which we hope may come during the present academic year.” 



In this frame, there is also the choice of shining more light on the community life, as defined by insiders, with the constitution of the “Council for the life of the community of students,” so that the formative course procedes in greater syntony with the academic proposal.  And finally, there is a prospective that the culture of unity will delineate a new type of university within the ordinance of ecclesiastical studies: the one in which all the sciences are called to enter into relationship with the Wisdom of the Gospel, making it penetrate their courses and their results. 


In a period in which the global dimension designs a network of ever tighter interdependence, the inaugural lecture by Pasquale Ferrara introduced a reflection of great import: “‘Constituent peace’. For an integral reading of International Relations.”  The reflection was effectively introduced with the reading of a touching phrase by Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish poet, on the theme of war and its legacy, entitled “The End and the Beginning.” 


It would be difficult to synthesize Ferrara’s talk, who, today, is teaching Political Theory of the international community and is Secretary general of the European University Institute of Fiesole (the text will be published in the next issue of the Sophia Review).  The listeners followed him into a territory little explored till now, where work is done in “pursuing the fundamental objective of the categorical  elimination of war,” to reach the point of ‘uninventing’ it, if one may say this, “not only through the proclamation of its illegality, but above all of its inadmissibility.” 


Among the numerous arguments, Ferrara referred to the recently  assigned Nobel Prize for peace to the European Union, as an effective model –so was it expressed by the Norwegian Committee –of that ‘fraternity among nations’ desired by Alfred Nobel.  Although voices of dissent were not missing, according to Ferrara “this reconstruction of the role of the European Union as an institution able to make war, in substance, at least in Europe, not only conceptually unthinkable, but also an impractical option, a practice in disuse and a useless tool, constitutes a fundamental political legitimization of the integrative story of the continent.” 


Today however – is Ferrara’s conclusion – we are called to go beyond that ‘fraternity among the nations’ imagined by Nobel in 1895, to establish  ‘the pragmatic premises of new forms of political cooperation  structured between peoples’,  experiencing in this way a more complex interaction, that is at the same time ‘organized and voluntary, at high intensity and frequency between government people and non-government people, institutions and international organizations, social involvement and participating transnational practices.” 


A prospective of great fascination, which found an adequate background in the elegant closing at the pianoforte by Emanuel Pili, a student at Sophia, which said farewell to those present with the universal breath of music.”


Text: Andrea Cardinali

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