Thursday, December 2, 2010


Ivo Coelho sdb
ROME, DECEMBER 2, 2010: The Department of Philosophy of the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, will be holding a Conference with the title “Beyond the Crisis: Towards a New Model of Development,” on December 3 to December 5, 2010.
The conference will study the theme of economic development in its metaphysical, ethical and anthropological aspects, so as to identify ways of facing the current crisis. It will concentrate in a special way on the thought of Salesian philosopher Tommaso Demaria.
Tommaso Demaria was born at Vezza d’Alba in 1908 and died at Turin in 1996. He was a professor at the Faculty of Theology of the UPS at Turin. Against the background of the realist philosophical tradition, he worked out a ‘metaphysics of historical reality.’ He was particularly interested in complex and dynamic social realities, including industrial entrepreneurship, the relationship between the individual and the group to which she belongs, the relationship between nature and history, and the theme of subjectivity, both personal and ecclesial. His thought offers interesting contributions to the analysis of models of economic development, and in the evaluation of the social doctrine of the church.
The conference will involve personalities from both civil and ecclesiastical spheres. On the civil side, Renata Polverini, President of the Lazio Region of Italy is expected to attend, while Antonio Fazio, ex-Governor of the Bank of Italy, will give a talk. On the ecclesiastical side, Msgr Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of Vatican City, as well as Fr Pascual Chavez, Rector Major of the Salesians, will participate in a Round Table discussion.
The speakers include professors from the Italian universities as well as those from the UPS and other ecclesiastical universities, among whom also Msgr Mario Toso, former Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, UPS, and now Bishop and member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Thanks to the recent conference on Lonergan’s economics held at Divyadaan, Lonergan’s economics will also be represented in a small paper to be presented by me on Saturday December 4.
The thought of Demaria is slowly becoming known. It seems to have caught the imagination of a group of laypeople, as may be seen by the association that promotes his work (Associazione ‘Nuova Costruttivita’.One of his major works, Dinamismo Realistico, is being translated into Spanish, while another, smaller, work, For a New Culture is being translated into English.

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