Organized by the Catholic Faculty of Theology (KBF), University of Split, the 26th International Theological Symposium entitled “Take Care of Yourself! The modernity of an ancient imperative” was held on Wednesday, March 17. Due to epidemiological measures, the symposium took place live and video conferencing foreign speakers. Assoc. Prof. Josip Dukić Ph.D., KBF’s Vice Dean for Science, inaugurated the symposium, saying:
- The ancient imperative "Take care of yourself" has a very rich and layered meaning. Throughout history, this imperative was shrouded in oblivion, to become relevant again over the last few decades. Organizers of this symposium intended to shed some light on the presence of this ancient imperative in today's secular society and the Church. To study where and how it first appears and confront it with Christian anthropology. The ancient imperative "Take care of yourself" is reminiscent of expensive massages, gourmet gatherings, exhausting exercise and fashionable vacations. But it is not just that. I often wonder if taking care of oneself is necessarily selfish or is it sign of maturity and the only way to remain healthy, happy, balanced, socially useful and spiritually peaceful.
KBF’s dean Mladen Parlov emphasized that the whole of antiquity sought after happiness, ways to achieve a happy life.
- We are trying to apply ancient wisdom to modern circumstances so that today a person takes care of himself, that is, becomes happy. It is especially important now, in midst of this pandemic, to revive this ancient imperative. I hope that we Christians get to this conclusion in the spirit of what Jesus Christ taught - said Dean Parlov.
KBF’s Vice-Chancellor, Fr. Marko Mrše, the provincial minister of the Holy Redeemer based in Split, considered important emphasizing the Faculty’s role in spreading this truth performing philosophical and theological studies, as well as raising awareness of man’s role, according to Scripture him being the summit of creation. In addition, he is always searching, reflecting and questioning who and whose we are, where we are going, what is the meaning of life.
- As much as we are confident in ourselves or think that we are, there are moments when we wander what is the meaning of this world, of my life and existence? Did I deserve it and how? Why was I born and why am I aware of myself? Of course, I cannot answer these questions, but I want to remind you of the fact that our Faculty’s role and goal is to position man and Christian in the place that belongs to him based on Christ's teachings and mission - concluded Fr. Marko Mrše.
On behalf of Rector prof. Dragan Ljutić and the University of Split’s management, Goran Kardum, Vice-Rector for Education, also participating in the symposium, addressed the assembly. He expressed his full support for this laudable convention, a necessary precondition for a functioning university community:
- The topic of the symposium is alive, timeless. It includes different areas, from theology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, all the way to the general question of what man is. It will be nice to hear and see from different angles what we think of ourselves, how much we deal with others and how much are we exclusively focused on ourselves.
18 speakers from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy and Austria. attended the conference.