In a world where people tend to take things for granted, we need a good deal of critical thinking. JESPHIL provides this critical thinking approach to hot subjects through a Jesuit perspective. The network consists of a group of European Jesuit philosophers who meet every two years to make a philosophical contribution to the study of topical issues and to support the role of philosophy within Jesuit formation.

The group encourages networking and cooperation between member institutions by working together on the same topics. Among the themes tackled are : “Secularization, Secularity, Secularism. The Prospects of Belief/ Unbelief in a Secular Age”; “Philosophy in the Spiritual Exercises”; “Does Capitalism impede Human Flourishing?” and “Criticism and Culture: the role of Ontology”.

From September 1-5, the biennial meeting of the European Jesuit Philosophers (JESPHIL) was held at Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Twenty five Jesuits from eleven different countries gathered together to share their experiences and to work in depth on one particular topic. This year’s topic was ‘Secularization, Secularity, Secularism’, with four major contributions exploring the conditions of belief/ unbelief in the modern West (scientific naturalism, atheistic humanism, post-Marxist materialism, the problem of evil) plus the input of a theologian (‘Is there, or can there be, a distinctive Jesuit reading of secularity?’). The workshops dealt with related issues: (1) Charles Taylor´s magnum opus A Secular Age; (2) sociological theories of secularization; (3) secular criticism; and (4) urbanization and urbanity. The meeting included also a visit of the burial place (shrine) of St. Hildegard, since 2014 doctor of the church, at St. Hildegard Abbey in Rüdesheim-Eibingen (Valley of the river Rhine). The next meeting shall take place from August 30 – September 3, 2016, in Zagreb on the topic of ‘democracy and the crisis of legitimacy’.