In recent years contact between the Priests of the Sacred Heart and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland has increased. This allows for a dialogue between the congregation and the academic world, even on the figure of our founder, Leo John Dehon. One of the results of this collaboration is a conference to be held April 8-9, 2016. Hosted in Fribourg and Lucerne, the conference is organized by the Swiss Journal of Religious and Cultural History; it is titled “Spaces of Apocalyptic Thought.”
It is to analyze how, around 1900 in Europe and North America, the situation of that time was perceived as a time of crisis, with responses that took the form of apocalyptic thoughts and speeches about renewal. The program will include a contribution from David Neuhold and John van den Hengel: “Crisis Within Modernity – Leo Dehon and the Social Reign of the Sacred Heart.” The contribution will attempt to develop the theme of how the idea of the social aspect of Dehon could be interpreted as a response to a crisis, and how, at the same time, it can be understood as a discourse that is expressed in apocalyptic language.
Other contributions at the conference will concern the Catholic interpretation of the First World War, the language used in the battle against modernism, etc. Speakers will be from different countries: France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, etc. There will also be a round table discussion on the synthesis of the conference. Taking part will be the director of the Dehon Study Center, Fr. Stefan Tertünte. In addition to the Director and Deputy Director of the CSD, Fr. Juan José Arnaiz Ecker, other members of the General Curia will also participate in the conference, including Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general.