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International ecumenical chair Patriarch Athenagoras-Chiara Lubich

International ecumenical chair Patriarch Athenagoras-Chiara Lubich

Auditorium Loppiano - via di San Vito 28 - 50064 Figline e Incisa Valdarno (FI) - ITALY



The Chair, unique in the international academic and cultural scene, sees the light of 50 years from the first meeting between Athenagoras, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, on 13 June 1957. It was established to prepare theologians who can witness an ecumenism born of unity in diversity. Against the background of the crisis of political, social and religious equilibrium in the Near and Middle East and between the two shores of the Mediterranean, the institution of the Chair assumes a cultural and social importance on the international level, proposing the activation of study laboratories and research for the new generations.
The Ecumenical Chair was established at the Sophia University Institute founded by Chiara Lubich in the small town of Loppiano. In August 2013, the institute was erected definitively by decree of the Congregation for Catholic education which gave it the official name of the Institute of Higher Studies dedicated to the Divine Wisdom that shines in the world from Mary Mother of God named "Sophia" ". It proposes itself as a community of training, study and research which contributes, in the exercise of their respective competences and responsibilities, to teachers, students and all staff. Dedicated to interdisciplinarity, the university began to attribute its academic degrees to the Foundations and Perspectives of a Unity Culture, with integrated paths and specializations in interreligious dialogue. The Economics and Political Studies courses are also active at the University Institute.
The idea of an ecumenical chair was born on October 26, 2015, when the Sophia university institute confers the first honorary doctorate in Culture of unity to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomeos I. Its specific aim is to study the cultural meaning, to review the historical stages and analyse in depth the existential and social implications of the ecumenical journey towards full unity among Churches, while exchanging spiritual, theological and cultural wealth of Christians, both in the East and West. Besides, it wants to offer academically qualified courses to those interested in contributing, through thought, dialogue and life experience, towards promoting unity between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. And thus offer a service towards the encounter between peoples and cultures. The Focolare Movement is committed to promoting dialogue between religions, because the religious pluralism of the world should not be a cause of division and war, but contribute to the building of brotherhood and world peace. For some years now, there has been fraternal collaboration between the Focolare Movement and the Buddhist movement, Rissho Kosei-kai and its 6 million adherents in Japan; with an African American Muslim movement in the United States; and with various movements inspired by Ghandi in the south of India.
The ecumenical chair is an initiative supported and encouraged by the Catholic Church. Pope Francis on the occasion of the inauguration of the same was rejoiced for the valuable initiative aimed at remembering the meeting between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the founder of the Focolare Movement, an encounter that fifty years ago marked the beginning of a fruitful journey of mutual knowledge and collaboration. Even the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos I recognized the value of the chair which opens up fascinating perspectives for ecumenical dialogue, favoring the meeting between theologians and experts of the various Christian confessions.
Research laboratory in international dailies in relation to the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras, which took place in Jerusalem on January 4, 1964.

Anba Shenouda Monastery - Giuseppe Garibaldi Avenue, 13, Lacchiarella (Milano) – Italy

Monastic community of Bose - Cascina Bose, 6 - 13887 Magnano (Biella) - ITALY



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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.