ROME (C.M. Paul) – A Salesian author and professor of philosophy who took on revered Thomistic philosophy in the 1960s and successively got isolated and forgotten in the mainstream pontifical philosophy teaching institutions, was the subject of a 3-day seminar held at the Salesian University (UPS) Rome, 3 to 5 December. Among 38 presenters at the seminar entitled Beyond the Crisis: Prospects for a new model of development – the contribution of dynamic thought of Tommaso Demaria, were the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, Rector Major of the Salesians Fr Paschal Chavez (both video presentations on 3 Dec.), as well as two Indian professors: former president of the Divyadaan Institute of Phliosophy Nashik, Dr. Ivo Coelho and Secretary of the UPS Rome Philosophy Faculty Dr Joshtrom Kureethadam (4 Dec.).
Salesian Tommaso Demaria famous for numerous studies on St Thomas Aquinas has written 27 books (21 published, 6 manuscripts) and scores of philosophical articles.
“This is one of the efforts to promote the study of the author, who is perhaps one of the most original thinkers that the Salesian Congregation has produced in its brief history,” says the Dean of the UPS Philosophy Faculty Dr. Mauro Montovani.
Since Demaria’s death in 1996, two Italian cultural associations “Nuova Costruttitivita” and MID – Movimento Ideoprassico Dinontorganico, both dedicated to the promotion of Demarain studies, contribute greatly to spread knowledge about his work through different publications, scientific as well as popular. They also organize cultural activities and maintain a website dedicated www.dinontorganico.it
Coordinator of the seminar, Prof. Montavani adds, Demaria wanted to develop, in continuity with Thomistic philosophy, an ‘integral dynamic realism’ that would give particular attention to the historical dimension of human existence. He was convinced that all human activities call for a consideration of the fundamentals, and among these is the historical dimension of the human being.
In his search for a valid concept of the being and the Absolute, in relation to total human experience and understanding Demaria came up with concepts such as ‘cell-person,’ ‘trans-personality,’ and ‘dynamic transcendentals’.
Since 1977 several academic seminars on Demaria have been held in Rome.
First UPS seminar on Demaria took place on the occasion of the 10th death anniversary of his demise (1996-2006) on the topic: Ideopraxis, society, religion.
The Asian contribution at the seminar were: “Economy in the thought of Bernard Lonergan” (Prof Coelho) and “New Relationship Between Man and Nature” (Prof Joshtrum).
With the help of prominent personalities from academic, business, cultural and church institutions the main issues of economic development patterns and the current situation in the labour market and financial questions were discussed from the anthropological and ethical standpoint.
The discussions on key issues are based on “integral human development” called for by Pope Benedict XVI in the encyclical letter Caritas in veritate.