Convening 7 June 2018 Venice (Italy)
Fountainheads of Toleration – Forms of Pluralism in Empires, Republics, Democracies
Ca' Foscari University and Giorgio Cini Foundation

Venice Seminars
Close Encounters Across all Divides
June 7th-9th, 2018 | Giorgio Cini Foundation and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

The Venice Seminars, in partnership with the Center for Humanities and Social Change at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Giorgio Cini Foundation, intend to explore the sources of toleration in diverse cultural and religious traditions, in both the secular liberal as in a confessional context, in different historical regions of the world, Western and Eastern, in the Christian history of thought as well as in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism.

For each philosophical, theological and political tradition, the Seminars will discuss the turning points and critical moments that have led on the one side to an exclusivist, extremist and fundamentalist perspective and, on the other side, to an inclusive, pluralist, tolerant view. To make just one possible example: In Islamic thought, one interpretation sees the Mutazili school of Islamic theology and authors such as Ibn Rušd as a possible backdrop for the development of a liberal perspective and considers, on the other hand, Ibn Taymiyya to the Wahhabism and Salafism as an exclusivist tradition, less compatible with modernity and pluralism. But also contributions from a comparative perspective focusing on interactions in the history of ideas between the different traditions that promote forms of greater tolerance are highly appreciated.

The Seminars begin with the hypothesis that the shape of the political, social and economic institutions of a society are the result of its history, culture and religion, while taking into account that the different traditions are not separated and immutable entities, but in contact with each other and subject to permanent evolution. Current research in comparative political theory analyzes above all the justifiability and legitimacy of political concepts in different cultural areas. The Seminars aim to complete those approaches, concentrating notably on the history of ideas while searching for the sources of models of thought that lay the groundwork for toleration, the acceptance of differences and of the other, and that allow a plurality of confessions and conceptions of the world to live peacefully together.


The Seminars are free and open to All.

Registration is required:

FOR STUDENTS AND YOUNG SCHOLARS: To register for only the Seminars (7-9 June) please click here

FOR VISITORS: Please, in order to register click here

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