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Sao Paulo -- (Brazil) Project Hypertext: A Grounding in Anthropology

Hypertext is a cultural program that offers a basic philosophical formation to students at Pacaembu University Center in São Paulo. During the semester, those involved in the program study important facets of the human person through philosophy, history and art. The name Hypertext suggests a multidisciplinary approach that enables one to understand more effectively the great philosophical questions.

The program is divided into five modules: anthropology, history of ideas, history of art, movies, and literature. In the anthropology module, basic concepts regarding the metaphysics of the person are studied: knowledge, imagination and intellect, the will and instincts, the passions and feelings, language and symbols. The history of ideas module includes the theory of the state in the classical world and in modernity, the relation between the state and individual rights, ethics and politics in modern times, etc. Themes in the history of art directly related to philosophy and anthropology are also studied, and debates are held about works of film and literature.

The incentive to undertake quality reading forms part of the Hypertext program. All of the participants are asked to read two books indicated by the coordinators, which are discussed later in the semester.

At the end of the first module, an informal meeting was held at a ranch near São Paulo, to develop more fully some themes of Christian anthropology in light of the rich teachings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The three-day-long meeting resulted in some of the participants returning to the practice of the faith, while others saw a strengthening of their Christian convictions. For everyone it was an occasion to broaden their personal horizons and to strengthen their determination to bring Christian ideals to their own environment.

Romana, No. 43, July-December 2006, p. 245.

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