Osimo: St. Joseph of Cupertino and the 4th Gathering on Mysticism

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The 4th Gathering on Mysticism was held on September 25 and 26, 2010, at the Campana Theatre in Osimo. Participants included theologians, philosophers, anthropologists, and psychologists, and discussed the theme of “Levitation: Paranormal or Holiness?”

How does one distinguish between authentic mysticism and pseudo mysticism? What role does mysticism play in an extraordinary phenomena such as levitation? What contributions can be made by neuroscience and the psychological sciences toward the understanding of mysticism? What kind of rapport exists between mysticism and knowing, between mysticism and life, between mysticism and society? These are some of the questions for which we were seeking answers.

Following the welcome by the Conventual Franciscan Provincial, Friar Giancarlo Corsini; the Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli; and the Mayor of Osimo, Stefano Simoncini, the first presentation to open the conference was given by Professor Giancarlo Galeazzi on mysticism in light of epistemology and anthropology.

There followed three presentations the next morning: that of the psychologist Glauco Ceccarelli of the University of Urbino, the anthropologist Aldo Natale Terrin of the Institute of St. Gustina in Padua, and the theologian Alberto Fanton of the Theological Faculty of Triveneto. They illustrated, respectively, some historical approaches to the psychology of mysticism, the contribution of neuroscience to the study of mysticism and its physical phenomena, and the theological significance of the levitation of Christian Saints.

There were two presentations in the afternoon: that of one of the major students of mysticism, Luigi Borriello, instructor at the Angelicum and the Teresianum, who demonstrated the relationship between theology and mysticism; then there was that of Franco Riva, philosopher from the Catholic University of Milan, who addressed the theme “Mysticism and Society Today”. On Sunday, the 26th, there were three reflections: the presentation by the President of the Italian Association of Psychology and Religion, Mario Aletti, instructor at The Catholic University, in which he gave an update on the dialogue between psychology and mysticism; the presentation by the Postulator for the Causes of Saints, Angelo Paleri, who spoke on levitation in light of the historical expose of Gustavo Parisciani, the major modern biographer for the Saint from Cupertino; and a round table, coordinated by Galeazzi, along with the participation of the theologians Fanton and Paleri, and the psychologist, Matteo L. Lorenzetti: this took under consideration mysticism as a challenge for our times. The Gathering concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Basilica presided over by the President of CIMP, Friar Gaincarlo Corsini.

In the following months, the acts of the Gathering will be published. Those who might want a copy can contact the organizing secretariat: tel: +39.071.716726.