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11: The European Ethos and the Sacred

Seminar / Seminar
in deutscher Sprache

Even in secular and enlightened Europe, traces of the sacred are to be found everywhere. Is this simply anachronism or is it in fact a buried truth, which has been suppressed in contemporary Europe? Indeed, if the sacred has been indelible, we could ask whether it can contribute to human liberty in a humane society, a fundamental aspect of the European project. But what is the relationship between the sacred and living a good life? Given the background of the European Enlightenment, is it essential to build morality on a foundation which is free from ideological preconceptions? Or is the opposite necessary – making it impossible to seek the moral good without a conception of the divine?

Professor, Department of Systematic Theology, University of Vienna Chair
Professor, Institute for Christian Philosophy, University of Innsbruck Chair


Professor, Department of Systematic Theology, University of Vienna

2000 Ph.D in Philosophy, University of Vienna
2002 Ph.D in Theology, Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Vienna
2005 Habilitation in Theology, Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Vienna
since 2010 Guest Professor, Facoltà teologica dell´Italia Settentrionale, Milan
Spokesperson, Interdisciplinary Research-Platform, "Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society", University of Vienna
since 2011 Professor Fundamental Theology, University of Vienna

Dr. Claudia PAGANINI

Professor, Institute for Christian Philosophy, University of Innsbruck

1997 Christian Philosophy and Catholic Theology, University of Innsbruck; University of Vienna
2001 MA, Catholic Theology
Several professional Activities in Social fields, Student Representative, Section Culture, Christian-Islamic Dialogue
Speaker, Faculty of Theology's Representatives, Austrian Students' Association
2002 MA, Christian Philosophy
2005 Doctorate, Christian Philosophy
2006-2007 News service, Press Agency of the Province of Tyrol
2007-2009 Free Journalist and Author of Non-Fiction Books on Special Issues
2010-2011 Temporary Replacement, Institute for Christian Philosophy, University of Innsbruck
2011-2015 Erika-Cremer-Scholarship Holder, University of Innsbruck
since 2015 Assistant Professor, Institute for Christian Phylosophy, University of Innsbruck

Seminar Week

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15:00 - 15:30Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2016Plenary
15:30 - 16:00Opening SpeechesPlenary
16:00 - 16:30A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a TeaserCulture
17:00 - 18:30Presentation of the SeminarsPlenary
18:30 - 20:00Bread and WineSocial


Seminar 01: Beyond MapsSeminar
Seminar 02: Common Challenges to the European and African Union – Climate, Demography, MigrationSeminar
Seminar 03: Religion and PowerSeminar
Seminar 04: World Water Resources and Human Well-Being at Risk – Trends, Data and GovernanceSeminar
Seminar 05: Scientific Excellence and Social Responsibility – How do they go together?Seminar
Seminar 06: The European Union and Its Eastern NeighboursSeminar
Seminar 07: (Economic-)Policy for Progress – The Return of the “Magic Polygon”Seminar
Seminar 08: Biological or Synthetic Evolution?Seminar
Teach For Austria Summer School: Changemaker Lab – Sapere aude!Seminar
Seminar 09: Rule of Law in China and EuropeSeminar
Seminar 10: Utility of Force in the 21st CenturySeminar
Seminar 11: The European Ethos and the SacredSeminar
Seminar 12: Towards a Sustainable Global Carbon LoopSeminar
Seminar 13: Gender Issues in Complex SocietiesSeminar
Seminar 14: Art as Enlightenment in Post-Enlightenment Times?Seminar
Seminar 15: Smart Factory: Social Effects – Prospects for Employment – Impacts on Work and OrganisationSeminar
Seminar 16: Understanding Big DataSeminar
Theatre Workshop with Students of the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art (RADA), LondonSeminar


07:00 - 13:00Alpbach Open SpaceBreakout