Carmelite Institute Malta is yet again organising a year of day-seminars and lectures aimed at deepening our understanding of Christian Spirituality. In dialogue with local and international current affairs, the day seminars will address various issues by which the Institute wishes to contribute a fruitful contribution. All events below are open to the general public for free.
On 15 November 2019, in collaboration with The Maltese Association for the Study of Spirituality and Spiritual Companionship and the Malta Centre for Chinese Culture, the Institute is hosting Buddhist Abbess Miao Duo who will be delivering a lecture entitled Philosophical Interpretation and Daily Life in the Way of Chinese Zen Buddhism. The aim of this event is to be an exercise in listening to the other in their difference, which is a key point in any inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. Finding common points and dialoguing is but a consequence only of one’s openness to learn about the differences of other cultures.
Since graduating from the FoGuang Shan Tsung Lin Buddhist College in Kaohsiung, Venerable Miao Duo was assigned overseas to Zu Lai Temple in Brazil in 2005. She was appointed as Abbess of Zu Lai Temple and held the post for six years. In 2012, Ven. Miao Duo took on the role as Director of FoGuang Shan in Spain and has since been dedicated to the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism in Europe. Throughout the last 7 years, she has been devoted to promoting the four main principles of culture, education, philanthropy and Buddhist practice, which were initiated by Master Hsing Yun. She was also posted to Manchester as the Director of the FoGuang Shan branch there. Ven. Miao Duo’s current position is the Superintendent of FoGuang Shan France, which is the headquarters of FoGuang Shan Europe.
Starting at 07:00 p.m., the programme will consist, first, of a lecture by the Venerable Abbess during which Chinese tea will be served. Then, space will be given for questions by a representative of the Association as well as by the general public. Lastly, Chinese and Maltese food will also be served.
Registration for this event is free but obligatory via this link.
Carmelite Institute Malta, in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta, is organising an Ecology Week between 13 and 17 December 2019. The Institute will be hosting Rev. Dr Eduardo Agosta Scarel O.Carm. who will be lecturing on several occasions on the theme of ecology and climate change in correlation to Christian theology. Rev. Dr Agosta Scarel is an Argentinian Carmelite friar who holds a doctorate in Climate Science and lectures at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.
First, since actions speak louder than words, a tree-planting initiative is being organised by The Maltese Association for the Study of Spirituality and Spiritual Companionship, in collaboration with Għaqda Siġar Maltin. This event will take place on Friday 13 December 2019 at Mġarr ix-Xini valley, Gozo, at 11:00 a.m.
Then, on 14 December 2019, Rev. Dr Agosta Scarel will hold a Day Seminar entitled “One with Nature, One with God: A Christian Ecological Spirituality” that will take place at the premises of the Carmelite Institute in Mdina between 09:30 a.m. and 04:00 p.m. Throughout the day, he will offer elements for a spirituality of ecology based on categories of interpretation of the reality of the current ecological, socio-environmental crisis, offered by the encyclical Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis. At the same time, the reflection will be complemented with an update of the theology of biblical creation in dialogue with the sciences and the proposal of a mystical-contemplative pathway, in a Carmelite key, as an ecological alternative of personal healing and sanitation of creation.
Then, on 17 December 2019, he will deliver a public lecture entitled “Climate Change: A Theological Perspective” that will take place at the Faculty of Theology Boardroom (THL317) between 03:30 and 04:30 p.m. On the one hand, he will make a diagnosis of the current state of the earth’s climate in the context of anthropogenic climate change. He will discuss what expectations there are for the future climate according to the climate projections obtained by well-recognized Global Climate Models, with particular emphasis on major projections of the future climate for Malta (Mediterranean area). On the other hand, he will offer a succinct re-reading of fundamental texts of Scripture searching for ecological clues that are offering us a theological understanding of the current global ecological crisis, and a hopeful believing look for the future.
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Carmelite Institute Malta is also organising two day-seminars on Carmelite Spirituality.
First, on 1 February 2020, Dr Edward Clemmer will be presenting a relatively unknown Carmelite text from the Flemish Medieval tradition entitled “The Spiritual Pilgrimage” by Jan van Pascha. The text recounts day-by-day meditations that a certain pilgrim has in hand during his pilgrimages both to Jerusalem and back to his home town. The original itinerary leaves from Louvain and arrives in Jerusalem. But interestingly the Medieval translations of this text depict the pilgrim leaving, for instance, from London in the English translation and from Paris in the French translation. This text is believed to be the very first form of what eventually became the fourteen Stations of the Cross.
Second, on 21 March 2020, Rev. Dr.us Martin de la Croix O.Carm. will be presenting Ven. John of St Samson’s mystical experience, a French Carmelite lay brother who has had profound influence on the mystical life of the Order. John of St Samson was born on 30 December 1571 and christened in Sens-de-Bretagne. In his childhood he was blinded by an incompetent physician after contracting chicken pox. Orphaned at a young age, he had a difficult childhood. But as a talented musician, he eventually moved to Paris where he came across the Carmelites in Place Maubert in 1603, and in 1606 he joined the Order in Dol-de-Bretagne. In 1612 he was transferred to Rennes where he became the spiritual soul of the Reform Movement of Touraine. Being a Master of Novices for many years until his death, his deep mystical life made him a seasoned teacher in the path of the spiritual life. His teachings, dictated to novices and disciples, have reached us in over 4000 manuscript folios. Lover of solitude, made fruitful by the encounter with God, he was aflame with ardent love for humanity especially the poor and the ailing to whom he ministered through his charism of healing. He passed away in odour of sanctity on 14 September 1636 at Rennes. His last words were: “With Christ, I am affixed to the cross.”
Both seminars will take place at the premises of the Carmelite Institute in Mdina between 09:30 a.m. and 04:00 p.m.
On 2 May 2020, Dr Andrea M. Schneider will be delivering a half-day seminar on the correlation between Spirituality and Politics. This will take place at the premises of the Carmelite Institute in Mdina between 09:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Dr Schneider is Head of Staff for Policy Planning in the Office of Germany’s Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Her area of work is the development, implementation, and management of strategic innovation projects, e.g. the Chancellor’s ‘Dialogue on Germany’s future’, the Government’s Strategy ‘Wellbeing in Germany ‘, the Chancellor’s ‘International German Forum’, and Government Foresight utilization and skill-building. The project ‘Effective Government’ which started in 2015 promotes the use of empirical methods of social sciences as well as behavioral insights within the government to raise effectiveness. Before joining the Staff for Policy Planning in 2007 she has studied and taught economic policy and development economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the University of Leeds, UK, and worked as director of the Economic Policy Group at the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation. She has a PhD in economics and has published on different topics.
Finally, Rev. Dr Glen Attard O.Carm. together with Prof. Michael Zammit are organising a set of workshops, three in total, whose aim is to learn and grow together in the art of interpretation and critical thinking. Mystical texts – not necessarily written ones but also visible and auditory ones – will be provided to those who attend and will be accompanied in interpreting the spiritual path that can be extrapolated from them. These workshops will take place at the premises of the Carmelite Institute in Mdina on 18 April 2020, 23 May 2020, and 13 June 2020.
Further information about the events organised by Carmelite Institute Malta can be inquired:
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Rev. Dr Glen Attard O.Carm.