Agreement Signed Between The Antonianum and The Sapienza University of Rome


The Pontifical University, Antonianum, and the Sapienza University of Rome have signed an important cultural and scientific cooperation agreement. Using approaches such as the interchange of professors and researchers, this will bring about joint research projects, courses, study days, and seminars on issues related to the following areas:

  • Classical studies, Archeology and Franciscan Art;
  • Science and Faith;
  • Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

As regards the first area mentioned – Classical Studies, Archeology and Franciscan Art – two research projects will be developed, studying biblical history, and that of Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Order. One will be concerned with non-material cultural contexts – memories, stories, traditions – and the other with material aspects – architecture, landscapes, exhibits. As well as archaeology and art history, a wide range of disciplines will be common to both avenues of research: textual criticism, biblical exegesis, philosophy, philology, linguistics, and patristic theology, all under the supervision of Professors Paola Carafa, Marco Guida e Caterina Papi.

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Profs. Gianfranco Tonnarini and Ivan Colagè will be commissioned to work on Science and Faith, as seen from an anthropological perspective, and with a focus on bettering many aspects of the condition of the human person -material and spiritual, intellectual and ethical, cultural and social. By means of an essential multidisciplinary approach, the potentially valuable synergies between the world of scientific research and that of the faith dimension – intellectually expressed by theology – can be sparked into life. After all, both science and faith have long embraced a dynamic vision of human beings as subjects capable of forming and continually exceeding themselves, in a kind of progressive dynamism involving the biological, cultural and social spheres.

The issues addressed by the research group on Science and Faith will certainly be deepened by the distinctive and particular perspective of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, which is the field of Profs. Paolo Ridola and Nicholas Riccardi, the latter of whom occupies the chair in this discipline which was inaugurated by the Pontifical University, Antonianum in 2009. Some obvious characteristics of the present age are: the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few; violence that continues to give make itself felt in ethnically and religiously motivated struggles; various forms of exclusion; oppression of women, and abuse of minors. Faced with these urgent realities, and through the contributions made by a variety of departments – from the legal sciences to economics, and from the disciplines of philosophy and theology – it seems imperative to develop and affirm an ethics and a method of administration of common goods that will respect human dignity and guarantee justice and fairness for all.

The Rector of the Sapienza University, Prof. Eugenio Gaudio, said, “The Sapienza has given special attention to a collaborative relationship with the Pontifical University, Antonianum, which is an important research contributor in the areas of philosophy, linguistics and theology.”

“Within the overall policy of agreements with which our University intends to strengthen its strategy of internationalization,” added Prof. Mary Melone, Rector of the Pontifical University Antonianum, “the agreement with the Sapienza is a particularly important milestone. I am sure that collaboration in scientific research related to areas central to our university has the potential to be of great educational importance.”