Post-Doctoral School

A new phase

«Develop workshops for a cultural revolution» (VG, 3): this is the indication of the recent apostolic constitution Veritatis Gaudium on ecclesial universities. The Sophia University Institute has always aimed at this through its activities but also, specifically, by implementing research activities for example by offering post-doctoral opportunities for young researchers in different disciplinary fields. A new phase began in this last academic year in order to significantly enhance research activities thanks to the strengthening of the Post-Doctoral School that is currently hosting 10 scholarship recipients involved in various disciplinary areas and research topics. The School is directed by Prof. Piero Coda and «is an interdisciplinary place» – as its Regulations state – «that promotes an academic specialization course. Thanks to it, researchers with the Third-cycle title (namely Doctorate) in different disciplines of the academic project of the Sophia University Institute or related to them take part with their original contribution in their research programme according to the different courses of studies with the peculiar epistemic profile characterizing the Sophia University Institute». Along with the commitment to personal research, the School provides and favours dialogue-based scientific activities, especially through bimonthly meetings where post-doctoral researchers discuss their works and delve into subjects of common interest, also in the light of prominent scholars’ suggestions. The first three meetings took place in October 2020, December 2020 and February 2021. The meeting on 7 October 2020 also involved the Rector of the Sophia University Institute, Prof. Giuseppe Argiolas. He highlighted that the current stage of the Post-Doctoral School is a way to «make the research activity explicit, which makes Sophia what it is», meaning «a place where Wisdom grows». In this sense, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are the pillars of this School: «The connection between disciplines with a desire for understanding the common dimension that enlivens them and “illuminates them from below and from the inside” is much needed. Global research is heading in this direction. We must take into account this need respecting the epistemological status of each discipline and finding the right ways and language to emphasize such transdisciplinary dimension, each one in its discipline. Ultimately, such dimension may be identified by wisdom. This does not mean all disciplines must be adjusted. On the contrary, this means discovering one’s legacy learning from wisdom». On the occasion of the first meeting, the Director of the School Prof. Piero Coda highlighted the novelty of this workshop course based on the idea according to which «one can know only in reciprocity». For this reason, he suggested as first step to implement «a journey of mutual knowledge» also from a disciplinary point of view, considering interests and everyone’s research work. «The novelty of this stage of the School – he stated – is that differently from the past when there were maximum a couple of post-doctorate researchers, now there is a group of them». The programme of this first meeting involved the contribution of two post-doctorate researchers: Noemi Sanches who obtained her doctorate in the philosophical field about Simone Weil’s thought and Carina Rossa, pedagogist who has almost finished her postdoctoral research about Pope Francis’ pedagogic approach. The second meeting took place on 10 December 2020. It was the opportunity to start working on a common commitment as post-doctorate School, a workshop moment that will be held next autumn and that will deal with an interdisciplinary approach to the theme of the “third”. According to the deep dynamics of the relationship and with the contribution of theology, the philosophy of the mediation and the gift, human and social sciences, it will explore the reference and irruption of transcendence thanks to which not only a reality refer to the other but “takes place” for and with the other giving to the “between” of the relationship an essential ontological role in the implementation of “in oneself” and the relationship with “the other”. The third meeting took place on 15 February 2021 and delved into Prof. Coda’s thought about the relational dynamic in the light of Chiara Lubich’s intuitions. Furthermore, it dealt with Jonathan Michelon’s research work. He is a post-doctorate researcher and an expert of training processes who studies leaderships based on charismas. The meeting also continued the analysis of the common theme chosen for the autumn workshop. Even if it is at the beginning, the route taken seems fascinating. Licia Paglione is a researcher supporting the school activities together with Gustavo Socias, philosophy doctorate student. She stated «from the meetings of these first months, one can see how fruitful a “space” of dialogue is, based on mutual respect and brotherly welcome both as people and scholars of different disciplines. We think that original ideas and new research approaches are found unexpectedly. The interdisciplinary seminar that will take place next autumn will be an important opportunity to examine for the first time what has been done so far».