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Manila: Sixth World Congress of Philosophy of the International Federation of Catholic Universities

Program of the Sixth World Congress of Philosophy of the International Federation of Catholic Universities in Manila

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, Philippines, is to host the Sixth World Congress of the Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Universitaires Catholiques de Philosophie (COMIUCAP), focusing on Asia.

The November 16–18 event has the theme "Faith, Reason, Dialogue: Listening to Asia."

The COMIUCAP is the sectorial group for Philosophy of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU/FIUC).

It promotes the exchange of information and institutional cooperation among institutions of philosophy established in the frame of the Catholic universities that exist today throughout the world.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Christian faith in the Philippines. However, due to COVID-19, Congress had to be delayed.

The theme "Faith, Reason, and Dialogue" considers not just the recurrent debate between faith and reason across history but also the progressive discovery of the fundamental role that philosophy plays (has played and needs to play) in the theological self-understanding of the Church as a community of disciples of Jesus in and across the world.

It is through the growing interaction of faith and reason that one can understand not just the process of conversion of the Roman Empire to the Christian faith but even more so the progressive Christianization of Europe and, consequently, with the arrival of the Age of Discoveries, the global impact of Christianity across the world.

The congress aims to reflect on how local cultures and traditions are transformed by means of the encounter with the kerygma of the Christian faith.

Hence, it is in the spirit of dialogue that COMIUCAP invites scholars from around the world to participate in the Sixth World Congress of the network in Manila.

The Congress pursues the commemorative spirit of the 500th Jubilee Year of the arrival of the Christian faith in the archipelago while at the same time calling attention to the vitality of both philosophy and Catholic higher education in the Philippines.

The events hope to foster a philosophical attitude centred on the importance of listening to the cultural and civilizational contributions of Asia and the development of an intersubjective attitude focused on the mutual transformation that always derives from authentic encounters among representatives from different cultures and visions of the world.

The Program and the Participants

Scholars and students from all continents are indeed invited to join in a constructive exchange of positions and ideas around not just the issues pertaining to the articulation of faith and reason but also the development of stronger dialogical attitudes.

The Congress, conceived as a privileged space for listening to and interacting with cultures other than one's own, aims to contribute to the main goals of philosophy and the demands it places on international cooperation and friendship.

The Congress will be held in a hybrid format to allow philosophers and other interested individuals from around the world to easily participate.

COMIUCAP and the UST look forward to welcoming professors and students from universities, Catholic and not, across the world to take part in this Congress either in person or via teleconference.

The key conference speakers include Philippe Capelle-Dumont, Université Catholique de Paris, Paris, France; Salomón Lerner Febres, Vice President – World, COMIUCAP, Pontificia Universidad Católica del, Perú Lima, Peru; Benedict Kanakappally, Consultor, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Rome, Italy; Kurian Kachapilly, President, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram Pontifical Athenaeum, Bangalore, India; Kai Man Kwan, Hongkong Baptist University Hong Kong; Jānis Tālivaldis Ozoliņš, Vice President for Oceania, COMIUCAP, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia; Hermel Pama, UST, Manila, Philippines; and Brendan Sweetman, Vice President for North America, COMIUCAP, Rockhurst University Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The Theme: Faith, Reason, Dialogue: Listening to Asia

The conference is to reflect on the engagement of faith, reason, and dialogue in today’s world, particularly in the rich opportunity of listening to cultures from the East.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has been facing multiple challenges related to her aggiornamento while at the same time enabling sustainable opportunities for mutual and self-understanding in terms of both the ecumenical movement and the opening to the experience of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogues.

In recent years, numerous documents of the Church have emphasized the importance of dialogue grounded in faith and reason. Among them are the decree Ad Gentes, the declaration Nostra Aetate, the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, and the encyclicals Redemptoris Missio and Fides et Ratio.

Faith, reason, and dialogue constitute inextricable elements in the church when it comes not just to her theological self-understanding but, perhaps even more so, when the challenges at hand are those connected with her mission in the world of today.

In terms of faith, the event will focus on the success of evangelization of the West, attempts at evangelizing Asia, evangelizing after the Second Vatican Council, Christianity in Asia, 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, tracking the future of Asian evangelization, rapprochement of the Vatican and China, assessing the status of Christianity in Asia, resolution of the Rites Controversy, the future of Christianity in China, theologizing in the Asian context, and prospects for Asian Christianity in the Digital Age.

Concerning reason, the congress would deal with the impact of Western philosophy on the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Philosophy’s Ancillary Role to Theology in Asia, the impact of religion on philosophy today, reason in Eastern cultures and philosophies, Philosophy and Culture in Asia, Indian Philosophy and Christian Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy and Christian Philosophy, and revisiting the East-West Philosophy Encounter.

On the area of dialogue, the speakers are to address the role of dialogue in spreading the faith, ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue, Chinese culture in dialogue with the Christian faith, Indian culture in dialogue with the Christian faith, dialogue between religion and politics, Christianity as a cultural meeting point, East-West dialogue of faith and reason, challenges to dialogue in Asia, the problem of dialogue of faith and reason, and Filipino culture in dialogue with the Christian faith.

The venue for the congress was chosen by UST because it is the oldest existing university in Asia. In terms of the student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world on a single campus. It is a Dominican institution of learning founded in 1611, under the patronage of St. Thomas Aquinas. The oldest academic programs are philosophy and theology, which have always been in dialogue with Eastern cultures.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.