The world forum on the promotion of humanism: Hangzhou, China, 7-8 June 2019

THE WORLD FORUM ON THE PROMOTION OF HUMANISM ORGANISED BY THE WENLI ACADEMY AND THE ACCADEMIA VIVARIUM NOVUM WAS HELD ON 7-8 JUNE 2019 AT HANGZHOU, CHINA.

The Global Forum on the promotion of humanism through classical education, organised by the Chinese Wenli Academy and the Accademia Vivarium novum in partnership with the Istituto italiano per gli studi filosofici and the Institute for Chinese classics studies of the Tsinghua University in Beijing, took place on Friday and Saturday 7-8 June in Hangzhou, China. The Forum stems from the consideration that true knowledge, that is, knowledge which informs and guides the right action, has now been replaced by knowledge based on a senseless accumulation of notions, often misled by the fads of our time, leading to a profound crisis in education, no longer aimed at cultivating and bettering people.

Modern society, whether Western or Eastern, seems to have set aside the ancient Confucian, Platonic and Stoic ideal of bowen yueli 博文約禮 ("Expansive in learning; disciplined by values"), thus favouring a kind of learning so aimless and indiscriminate that it risks to loose the more dignified name of "education". In the face of such a cultural and social urgency, the Global Forum has proved to be an important opportunity to discuss such crucial issues within an international context of leading scholars and academics, each of them representing and interpreting different ancient cultures and civilizations that have carried the product of human thought to its height. Although well aware of the inexorable decline that classical education is going through nowadays, the organizers of the Forum did not simply hope or call for the resurgence of an ancient culture, but they wished to show the necessity of humanistic education especially in the face of a contemporary society subject to astounding and rapid changes that do not always represent the hoped-for "progress". Western speakers at the Forum included: James Hankins (Harvard university), one of the most prominent historians of the Italian Renaissance, Yasmin Haskell (University of Western Australia, Perth), one of the greatest experts on the Latin writings of the Jesuit missionaries of the 17th and 18th centuries, Fernando Wulff Alonso (University of Malaga), professor of ancient history who is specialised in the relationships between West and East in the Hellenistic period, as well as the founder and president of the Accademia Vivarium novum, Luigi Miraglia, together with the vice-president Ignacio Armella Chavez and the professor of Latin and Greek poetry and metrics Özséb Áron Tóth, who directed a large chorus of Chinese students, who sang poems from Anacreon, Catullus, Horace and excerpts from Homer and Virgil.

The common goal is to defend the ideals of humanistic education for the improvement of civil society. The Italian delegation also included Mr Corrado Sforza Fogliani, president of Assopopolari and vice-president of ABI, who met leading representatives of the Chinese cultural world in order to lay the basis for a World humanities fund, intended to support several events for the promotion of a new global Renaissance.

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