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

The Summer School explores 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 Hebraism, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism. In the history of these different systems of thought what are the developments 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?

The Summer School begins 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 Summer School aims to complete those approaches, concentrating notably on the history of ideas while searching for the sources in the different models of thought that lay the groundwork for toleration, the acceptance of differences and of the other.

Classes will cover following broader topics:

  1. The Concept of Toleration
  2. Political Systems and the Practice of Toleration 3. Toleration in Cultural and Religious Contexts 4. Toleration and Monotheism: Hebrewism, Islam and Christianity 5. Identity Conflicts and Toleration in the Middle East 6. Toleration in Western Political Thought 7. Toleration in the Asian and Indian Political traditions 8. Toleration in the African and Latin American contexts 9. The prospects of Toleration: towards a new cosmopolitanism?


Students and young scholars are welcome to participate to the Venice Summer School 2018 that will take place in Venice from the 4th to the 9th of June 2018.  The Summer School is organized in partnership with the Center for Humanities and Social Change at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Giorgio Cini Foundation.

Location: The Summer School will be held from the 4th to the 6th of June in Ca’ Foscari University: Aula Morelli, Palazzo Malcanton Marcorà, Dorsoduro 3484/D, Calle Contarini, 30123 Venezia and from the 7th to the 9th of June in Giorgio Cini Foundation (Island of San Giorgio Maggiore) and Ca’ Foscari University (Auditorium Santa Margherita)

The Summer School is fully integrated with the Venice Seminars.

The structure of the Summer School is the following: 

During the first three days (June 4-6) invited professors will give lectures and seminars. At the end of each day, workshops guided by professors on one particular issue with regard to toleration will be organized. All enrolled students are going to be assigned to one of the three workshop seminars. In the workshops students will discuss and elaborate one specific issue of the overall topic and prepare a short presentation that will be delivered at the Venice Seminars on Saturday, June 9.During the last three days (June 7-9) the Summer School coincides with the program of the Venice Seminars.

One of the goals of the Summer School is to prepare students and young scholars to present a brief group discussion on one aspect of the question of toleration during the last day of the Seminars.


Students and young scholars who want to qualify for the 6 CFU\ECTS credit points are expected to elaborate the discussion in form of a paper (for the evaluation of the Summer School see below).

  • For Ca’ Foscari’s students 6 CFU/ECTS will be granted after successful completion of the course work.
  • For all other  Italian and international students, a certificate of attendance will be provided detailing the lessons, workshops, seminars and home assignments, for a total workload corresponding to to 6 CFU/ECTS. Each student will be responsible for contacting his/her University for the credits recognition and approval, which is a discretionary decision of each single Institute. We do recommend to arrange the recognition with your University before the beginning of the Summer School.

All enrolled students are going to be assigned to one of the three workshop seminars. In the workshops students discuss and elaborate one specific issue of the overall topic and prepare a short presentation that will be delivered at the Venice Seminars on Saturday, June 9.

Evaluation: Presentation during the Venice Seminars and attendance (60%); final paper to be submitted three weeks after the end of the Summer School (40%).

The list of speakers may be subject to change. Participants will receive the final program of the Summer School and of the Venice Seminars at the end of April.






Accommodations for all the selected students of the Summer School will be provided and covered by the Organisation. Accommodation will be in very nice apartments, in single or double rooms to be shared with other students of the Summer School, according to sign-up order. All the apartments will be in the city center, walking distance from the venue of the Summer School classes.

Local boat-transport tickets will be provided as well as meals during the whole period of the Summer School.




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