Mutual Understanding among Human Beings as Path to International Understanding

The conference The Soul of Europe, July 28 to 31, 2016 had moved through cities of East Middle Europe and is heading now towards the North – to Lahti in Finland. The 7th conference will be organized by the Anthroposophical Society in Finland and the Section of Social Sciences at the Goetheanum.

europa-reliefkarte-kleinThe developments in the Ukraine beginning in spring 2014 brought forth deep uncertainties. The confidence in the good order of Europe was threatened. The old opposition between East and West seemed to rise again to the surface. The different ways of coming to terms with the transformation processes after the events of 1989-1991 in the countries of the former Warsaw Treaty became evident.

In the summer of 2015 another challenge for Europe emerged in unexpected magnitude: more than a million refugees flowed in an uncontrolled way from the Middle East and Africa into the European countries. The social, economic and cultural consequences of this migration are in no way clear. The East-West polarity continues and influences even the Syrian war. The EU has fallen in a deep crisis in regard to the question how to develop further the community. And in November another event inflicted deep wounds in the soul of Europe: well organized terror showed new dimensions of hatred and destruction.

In this situation, the conference The Soul of Europe wants to address the question how to develop in our time a real understanding from human soul to human soul. The time of the consciousness-soul asks for a conscious deepening of such an understanding. If we learn to listen to the other human being with understanding, experience what and who is the other – then forces of peace amongst people and consequently also amongst nations will grow. We will then be able to understand also people with a totally different cultural background. The developments in Europe over the last centuries ask for such a deepening which can lead to overcoming of the polarities between East and West, North and South.

Short contributions on impulse, followed by conversations in small groups, working groups around particular themes and artistic activities will form the structure of the conference. In addition, Gerald Häfner from the Social Sciences Section will give a lecture on the current situation of Europe. Conference languages will be German, English and Finnish, possibly also Russian. A festive evening, as well as interesting excursions before and after the conference, will complete the program.

You will find the full program and the electronic application form on the homepage as of mid-February. The conference will take place in Sylvia-koti, a curative home near Lahti, Finland.

Extending a warm welcome to this conference

with best greetings
on behalf of the Section of Social Sciences at the Goetheanum: Gerald Häfner
on behalf of the Anthroposophical Society in Finland: Leena Westergren

Further information

Leena Westergren, und
Hans Hasler,