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”.

Between August 30th and September 3rd 2018, the Faculty of Philosophy and Religious Science of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb, Croatia, was host to the biennial meeting of the European Jesuit Philosophers (JESPHIL). Twenty Jesuits from nine countries gathered together to share their experiences and to work in depth on one particular topic. This year’s topic was ‘the crisis of democracy’, with several major contributions and two workshops, exploring the sources of the loss of trust in representative democracy and the rule of law, the rise of populisms (from the left and from the right), the role of (social) media, the impact of the tight labor market for the young, xenophobia, digitalization, and the challenge of measuring democracy. The conference included a guided tour through the old city of Zagreb (Kaptol, Gradec) and a meeting with a politician from the ruling Christian Democratic party, Mr Davor Ivo Stier. The provincial of the Croatian Province, Fr Dalibor Renić, celebrated the final Eucharist. Fr Franck Janin, the president of the conference of European provincials, honored our meeting with his attendance. The main papers will be published in Obnovljeni Život, the journal related to the Faculty at Zagreb. The next JESPHIL meeting shall take place during the last week of August 2020 in Innsbruck, Austria, on the topic ‘Who Is God?’.
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’.