Dr Michael Shortall represented St Patrick’s College, Maynooth at a gathering organised by the Fédération des Universités Catholiques Européennes (FUCE) and hosted by the University of Rome, LUMSA (Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta) at their Gubbio, Umbria campus. Inputs were delivered by representatives from across Europe on the theme of “European Humanism in the Making”.
Inspired by the appeal made by Pope Francis, on accepting the Charlemagne Prize in May 2016, for the recovery of a lost – or maybe never fully recognized – ‘soul’ of Europe, based on the agenda for a new humanism resulting from historical knowledge and the ethical recollection that it can foster collectively, the theme of the gathering was entitled ‘European Humanism in the Making’. In doing so it wants to address his question “What happened to humanist Europe, the defender of human rights, democracy and freedom?” and take it further to tap into historical roots as bearers of future prospects for the European project.
Dr Shortall delivered an input on the intellectual history of European Social Humanism. It proposed that European socio-political history – and its intellectual understandings – continually values, and so negotiates in its institutional forms, the social aspect of being human.