It was the first seminar to be curated by the Social-One research group outside of Europe in cooperation with a group of Latin Americans from the Anti-utilitarian Movement in Social Sciences (M.A.U.S.S.). On 6-7 July 2012 about fifty people, including professors, researchers and students from various regions of Brazil gathered inOlinda, north easternBrazilwith an Italian delegation. Agapic Action (i.e. action motivated by fraternal and disinterested love) was the central topic of the two-day seminar, and it is also at the heart of the thinking of the group of researchers connected with Social-One. But it is certainly not a common topic for the field of Sociology.
“Free Gift and Agapic Action: Diaologue Towards A New Prospective for the Social Sciences” was the title of the seminar, which was opened by Brazilian Dr. Vera Araujo who underscored the need for new ideas – like agape and free gift – to inspire behaviours and the collective dynamic.
Twelve hours of intense work. Four conferences and four parallel sessions, enriched by an open dialogue that involved all the participants.
There were three Italian presenters: Prof. Michele Colasanto from the Catholic University of Milan who discussed the role of the concepts of agape and free gift in the construction of the common good; Prof. Gennaro Iorio, member of the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Salerno who, after his presentation of a reflection on the theme of agapic action as developed by Social-One, then spoke on the relationship between agape and conflict; Dr. Licia Paglione, member of the Department of Social Sciences and Communication at the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano, Florence who proposed a study of the relationship between the concepts of gift and love, beginning with the work of Russian sociologist P. A. Sorokin (1889-1968).
In the parallel sessions five projects were developed by Brazilian students and professors from several universities, who are familiar with topics under discussion in a Brazilian academic and social setting.
Twenty year old Maria Julia Izidoro speaks of wide horizons, “talking about love in the lecture halls of a university.” For Maria Eduardo Couto: “A wall has come down between the youth and the old “dinosaurs” of the Social Sciences. Here we found ripened scientists who listened to us with such great interest and attention.” Young Lucas Francisco da Silva Jr said that he was “impressed by the idea, given that society is in need of change and of the concept of agapic action in its social interactions, to make the world better.” Saulo Miranda was struck by “the presence of so many young people who are interested and prepared to examine such topics in their academic studies.” Simone Alves made an interesting comment; “I’ve acquired some important theoretic academic baggage here, but the basic thing has really been the experience of love, of that agapic action that I found in the relationships among the people here.”
“This seminar will leave as a legacy,” says seminar coordinator Lucas Galindo, “an openness of mind, heart and spirit in favour of dialogue that is fruitful and allows one to hope that agapic action (love) will have a strong effect on social life.”