MANILA, Philippines—The University of Santo Tomas is bridging the wisdom between East and West through what is probably the biggest gathering of philosophy scholars in Asia in the international conference “Thomism and Asian Cultures: Celebrating 400 Years of Dialogue Across Civilizations,” which runs May 23-26.
The international conference is being held as part of the quadricentennial celebration of UST as Asia’s oldest university.
In attendance will be the officers and members of leading international philosophical societies: Académie du Midi, Asian Association of Christian Philosophers, Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Universitaires Catholiques de Philosophie (Comiucap) and World Union of Catholic Philosophical Societies.
Since philosophy is the pioneer program of UST when it was founded in 1611, UST Department of Philosophy chair Alfredo Co stressed that “the achievements of philosophy, in particular in UST, should not be overlooked in the momentous fourth centenary of UST.”
Co is also the convenor of the four-day conference.
“For a distinct and solitary discipline like philosophy, we could not think of a nobler participation than [the] international philosophical discourses in a philosophical congress,” he said.
Scholars from various universities and cultural institutions in over 20 countries will tackle the transcendent significance of the teachings of the philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor of the Church, as well as the different topics in which cultural dialogues are feasible.
There will be 11 plenary conferences and over a hundred paper presentations in parallel sessions.
Plenary speakers are Hans-Georg Moeller of University College of Cork, Ireland (president of Académie du Midi); Karl-Heinz Pohl of Trier University, Germany; Walter Schweidler of Katholische Universitaet Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Germany; William Sweet of St. Francis Xavier University, Canada (president of World Union of Catholic Philosophical Societies); John Ozolins of Australian Catholic University; Piotr Jaroszynski of John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland; Vincent Shen, chair of the philosophy department of University of Toronto, Canada; Tran Van Doan of National Taiwan University (president of Asian Association of Christian Philosophers); Noel Sheth of Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion (vice president for Asia and Oceania of Comiucap); Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, vice rector of Pontifical Urbaniana in Rome; and João J. Villa-Chã of Gregorian University in Rome (president of Comiucap).