Democracy in decline?

Throughout the world we are facing the demise of democratic hope.

Professor Lenart Škof reflected on the ethical and spiritual foundations of the idea of democracy as part of Australian Catholic University (ACU) Luminaries Series in Brisbane Monday 26 June and Melbourne on Thursday 29 June.

Delivering the 2017 Simone Weil Lecture on Human Value Professor Škof, Professor of Philosophy, University of Primorska, Slovenia, defended democracy as a moral ideal and human value that is in urgent need of nurturing in these turbulent times.

ACU Head of the School of Philosophy Dr Richard Colledge said Professor Škof looks to return to what he sees as the ethical and spiritual foundations of the idea of democracy.

“Dealing with the connections between democracy, human value and ethical citizenship, could hardly be more pertinent to our time when the very foundations of not only democracy, but also the ideals of the public good, and truth in public life, are being deeply tested across the western world,” Dr Colledge said.

This was the 18th annual Simone Weil lecture. The lectures now form a core part of the ACU Luminaries Series, launched by the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy in September 2016.

Executive Dean of the Faculty Professor Dermot Nestor said the series demonstrated ACU’s commitment as a Catholic University to a distinctive perspective on higher education.

“This series provides each participant with a distinctive experience that is founded upon a conversation between ACU’s heritage in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the challenges of a contemporary world in which its graduates are called to act,” he said.

“It is this deep sense of engagement, and of commitment, a willingness to shine a light upon rather than shy away from contentious issues, and a willingness to act as a beacon of clarity and of hope in an often confusing world which defines ACU and thus, the Luminaries series which bears its name,” Professor Nestor said.


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