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Venice 2008

The fourth international conference held in Venice from May 5th to 7th 2008, wished to pay homage to Raimon Panikkar on the part of many of his friends from all over the world for his ninetieth birthday.

The theme of the conference was, “Mysticism, Fullness of Life”, a subject dear to Panikkar, as demonstrated by the fact that the first volume of his Opera Omnia, presented by the Jaca Book publishing house for the occasion, has the same title. The theme of mysticism was approached from various angles (cultural, religious, social and artistic) and inspired the atmosphere of the conference also thanks to the meditations guided by Panikkar himself at the beginning of each day.

Day 1 – After greetings on the part of the Major of Venice, M. Cacciari, the auxiliary Bishop of Venice, B. Pizziol and P. F. Ghetti, Dean of the Ca’ Foscari University, seat of the conference, the first papers were presented by S. K. Somaiya (India), A. Rigopoulos (Italy), L.V. Tarca (Italy). In the afternoon there was a Round Table on “Mysticism and Secularity” in which R. Rapp (USA), M. Yusa (USA), J. Agusti (Spain), K.Das (Canada) took part, followed by “Mysticism and Art” with the contribution of the sculptor M. Baldessari (Italy) and the reading of poems by Alberto Preda.

In the evening Pannikar held a lectio divina on the Ascension in the Chiesa dei Frari, followed by a piano recital by Carmen Vilà.

Day 2 – Speakers: J. Pigem (Spain), B. Baumer (Austria), R. Ropez (Germany), A. Amaldas (India), S. Piano (Italy), G. Pasqualotto (Italy), F. Manara (Italy), J. Prabhu (India/USA), S. Eastham (New Zealand), U. King (UK). A round table on “Mysticism and Secularity”, moderated by M. Raveri, with A. Rossi, F. Dubosc, P. Barone e G. Vianello (Italy). In the evening there was a dance (N. Sala), music (F. Sanesi) and song (G. Giannini) performance.

Day 3 – Milena Carrara presented “The Spirit of Religion”, and inter-religious project inspired and directed by Panikkar, supported by the Arbor Foundation. The project participants offered papers on mystics from the various traditions: A. Lew (USA), M. Haddad (Tunisia), F. D’Sa (India), K. Acharia (India), J. Forzani (Italy) Y. Ro (Korea/USA), G. Hall and J. Hendriks (Australia) G. Iorio (Italy), I. Perez (Guatemala).

The conference was organized by Milena Carrara (President of the Centro Studi Interculturali Vivarium) in collaboration with the Centro Studi Maitreya (Giancarlo Vianello and Federico Allegri), Università Ca’ Foscari (Luigi Vero Tarca, Antonio Rigopoulos and Massimo Raveri) and Cenacolo Culturale Carmelitano (Daniele Spero)

Raimon Panikkar

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it allows me to ponder deeply the mistery of reality.”