In reply to the cultural crisis, which is global , and involves major changes leading to new cultural paradigms, the spirituality of unity is formulating ideas as a contribution to opening pathways towards a renewed culture.
One development of the charism of unity has been the beginning of a dialogue marked by reciprocity, with the world of culture and all of its various disciplines and expressions: politics, economy, art, media, education, psychology, sociology, medicine, law, architecture, environmental science, and sport. It is promoted by international secretariats and by small nuclei of people which are emerging in different lands through meetings, seminars, convention, forums, and workshops. Their purpose is to offer a set of ideas, of cultural contributions, but also existential and constructive experiences.
Purpose. This dialogue is open to all who feel the urgency of the challenges that we are facing today, in order to elaborate a line of thought and a doctrine in each of the various fields, inspired by the paradigm of unity. And this does not mean uniqueness, but, rather, a discourse with a plurality of thoughts, perspectives, and ideas from yesterday and today; and not only for the sake of comparison, but in order to generate an innovative result for the culture.
History. Its roots go back to the first years of the Focolare Movement and it history is marked by three stages that are interrelated with each other, three phases that Chiara Lubich connects with three emblematic cities of the social-cultural journey of our times.
1. Assisi. The choice of God in his paternity. In the first period, which lasted for decades, God led the members of the Movement to incarnate this love in their lives.
2. Paris. In search of Truth. In the second moment, after this lifestyle had been formed and well-defined, the members of the Movement felt urged to draw from their life and from the spirituality which is both personal and communitarian, the doctrine that lay beneath it. It was “Paris”, the city of study, combined with “Assisi”, the city of the life. But there was never a fear that Paris would destroy Assisi. On the contrary, decades of experience has shown that the light of truth is a highly important help to life, to the life of love.
3. Hollywood. Sharing the positive aspects of life. In the third period, the one we are now living in, we feel the need to manifest not only God’s goodness in life, not only the truth of the Gospel in the culture, but also God’s beauty in all forms of human knowledge. This period has been named after another city which is the emblem for making known and experienced the existence of cultural research: Hollywood. This phase does not erase Assisi and Paris, but includes them, for it would not exist without them.
Recognitions. The influence of the spirituality of unity in various cultural fields has been acknowledged recently by numerous Catholic and secular universities, with honorary degrees in various disciplines being awarded to Chiara Lubich.
Center for Dialogue with Contemporary Culture
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