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Dear conference speakers and participants,

Many thanks for your kind responses and suggestions.

Accordingly, and after consultation with our academic authorities, we have decided to simply postpone the Monastic Symposium to 8-11 June 2021. Thus we would like to keep the program as it was foreseen for this year. If there are any changes in the meantime, they will be published here on the website of the symposium.

If you have already paid and you do not participate next year at the symposium, you will be reembursed.

The conference papers will be published, as usual, after the symposium. Let us take the postponement due to the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to prepare our talks well and finalize the papers in time for the symposium, so that the volume can be published soon afterward.

We wish you, above all, a fast and peaceful return to normality.

Monasticism, Education and Formation Symposium
9-12 June 2020
Sant’Anselmo, Rome

“The response to the call for papers offers a vast and original panorama of the topic, ranging from the most ancient sources of monasticism through the Rule of Saint Benedict, liturgy and prayer, art and culture to modern social challenges. Many themes are transversal and dialogical”.

— Bernard Sawicki, organizer

The organizers of the International Monastic Ed 2020 Symposium “Monasticism, Education and Formation” are happy to report that the response to our Call for Papers was very strong. We have collected 43 abstracts from 15 countries* and four continents. We have organised the abstracts and they are now outlined and catalogued on our web site and available for your review.

In addition, we have organised the Monastic Ed Program; it is linked and ready for your perusal.

Lastly, we would like to remind you that the next Early Registration Deadline is 31 March. So carpe diem! Take a look at the updated Monastic Ed 2020 web site and register today.

You do not have to deliver a paper to participate!

*Countries include : Italy, Germany, Ireland, England, France, Poland, Romania, Greece, Russia, Brasil, Sri Lanka, and USA

There are two factors which authorize and legitimize the monastic contribution to modern education: the long and rich history of monastic education and the presence of about 200 schools, colleges and universities around the world run by Benedictines. The Symposium would like to record, appreciate, analyze and develop this reality. So, the historical themes can range from the pedagogical and formative experiences of the Desert Fathers (especially present in the teachings of Evagrius and in the writings of Cassian) and other monastic authors, such as Basil the Great, Augustine and Gregory the Great; they can include proposals contained in various Rules and monastic traditions, both Oriental and Occidental, the social impact of monastic life, particularly visible in the work of Cassiodorus or Alcuin, in the tradition of lectio divina and hesychasm (Mount Athos but also, later, the monastery of Optina in Russia); they can cover the whole tradition of monastic sapiential methodology, combining studies and meditation as practised by Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard of Clairvaux and rediscovered by Jean Leclercq, particularly in his famous book L’amour des lettres et le désir de Dieu. One should not forget that among alumni of monastic schools there were Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Hölderlin and Herman Hesse.

The look at the monastic impact on modern education can be directed by five values resulting from the Gospel interpreted by the Rule of Benedict and considered as essential by the Benedictine Colleges and Universities:

  1. the primacy of God and the things of God;
  2. reverent listening to the varied ways in which God is revealed;
  3. the formation of community built on respect for individual persons who are each regarded as Christ himself
  4. the development of a profound awareness of the meaning of one’s existence
  5. the exercise of good stewardship.

Through these emphases Benedictine Colleges and Universities strive to promote the common good of Church and society and assist individuals to lead lives of balance, generosity and integrity. The most recent vision of the role of the Benedictine tradition in education today was outlined by Abbot Elias Lorenzo, the president of the International Commission on Benedictine Education (ICBE), at their conference in August 2019 : You may read the pdf of his address here.

Finally, all these values can be found in, and inspire, various modern methods and approaches to education, pedagogy or formation. Interactions, affinities but also contrasts of these values and other Benedictine characteristics of education or formation with new ways and methods of education (Montessori, Waldorf, education through art, writing, computers) would be another interesting group of themes for the Symposium.

As in previous cases, the inter- and hyper-disciplinary exchange will be achieved by the active and open participation of specialists in history, theology, sociology, archeology, pedagogics, education, coming from different continents, languages, cultures and also various academic traditions. That is always a distinctive feature of our projects. We would like to animate it by two panel discussions and one workshop, coming from different educational contexts. The details are  available on the website at this link: http://bit.ly/MonasticEd2020.

Scientific Committee:

Greg Peters (Biola University, USA), Thomas Quartier OSB (Radboud University Nijmegen, KU Leuven), Paolo Trianni (Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Ansemo, Roma, Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Roma), Isabelle Jonveaux (University of Graz), Marcin Jewdokimow (University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Warsaw), Bernard Sawicki OSB (Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo, Roma)

Advisory Board:

Michel Van Parys OSB (Abbey of Chevetogne), Fernando Rivas OSB (Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo), Mario Comoglio (Università Pontificia Salesiana), Ioannis Panagiotopoulos (University of Athens), Barbara Spalova (University of Prague), Mark Barrett OSB (Worth Abbey), James Clerc (University of Exeter)


De Kovel; the Benedictine Centre at Radboud University Nijmegen and the Chair of Monastic Studies at KU Leuven; Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin, USA; Department of XXth and XXIst century Culture, Faculty of Humanities, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw; Religious Life Research Group (at Institute for Catholic Church Statistics – Poland); Titus Brandsma Institute (Bonn); Lehrstuhl für Religionspädagogik Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (München)

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