1) Ks. Abp Prof. dr. hab. Andrzej Dzięga: Saints Cyril and Methodius as a Source of Hope in Building the European Community of Nations
At a time when Europe is looking for its identity, when we increasingly realise that economic calculation alone is not enough to unite it, reaching its roots seems to be a prerequisite for properly defining its present and future. At its core lies Christianity – nothing can change this fact, regardless of whether someone accepts it or if it is salt in the eye of someone. It is impossible to understand the roots of Europe without such figures as St. Cyril and St. Methodius. This was perfectly understood by John Paul II, who proclaimed these Slavs apostles the patrons of the Old Continent. Their work is an outstanding contribution to the creation of the shared roots of Europe, which, thanks to their durability and vitality, are one of the strongest reference points that no serious effort to bring about a new unity of the continent in our time can be missed. Why is all this important? We are experiencing the situation today that in a bizarre, unjustified way, we are trying to eliminate from the history of the Old Continent all elements that speak of its Christian roots. By implementing their own charism, Cyril and Methodius made a decisive contribution to the construction of Europe not only as a community of Christian faith but also as a state and social organism.
2-3) Prof. ThDr. Viliam Judák – Doc. ThDr. Ľubomír Hlad, PhD.: Pavol Strauss and His Philosophical – Theological Interpretation of the Phenomenon of Mental and Physical Suffering
In the Slovak environment the personality of Pavol Strauss (1912-1994), doctor, philosopher and religious thinker, cannot be overlooked. That‘s why he was presented to young people at the university in Nitra as a role model of human maturity. The witnesses of his life and work express this as follows: „We have seen in him an extraordinary Slovak intellectual who can address any young person, also an atheist, with his seeking, his religious certainty, his broad outlook of a poet, thinker and friend“. There is a high level of internal coherence between his life and his work, so we can say that his life presents an interpretation key for the whole of his literary work and that his work helps reveal the enormous broadness of his personality. Since the author himself is a doctor who touches the human suffering and dying on a daily basis as well as a man who has experienced mental suffering caused by the communist regime, the aim of our study is to present the circumstances and forms of his internal suffering, to show the ways how he had reacted to it, that‘s to reveal the originality of his interpretation of human pain, suffering and dying, inherent in his work. By this way, we want to offer a key to reveal the sense of what many of our contemporaries are confronted with (spiritual and physical pain) and what in our opinion should become compulsory equipment of anybody who has chosen some of helping professions. The historical part will be edited by prof. V. Judák, the interpretative one by doc. Ľubomír Hlad.
4) Prof. Dr. Josef Dolista, ThD., PhD., LL.M., Dr. h. c.: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk on the Phenomenon of Religion
T.G. Masaryk devoted his whole life to a religious question. In religion, he sought an answer to the mortality/immortality of man and asked an answer to the relationship between faith and rationality. He criticised the state concept of religion as a product of the French Revolution and studied the idea of religion in Russia and Western countries. He was close to his philosophical faith. He criticised the “deposits of tradition” and was opening to the theology of the Reformation. The following study aims to point out some selected issues of the Christian faith and the relationship of T. G. Masaryk to the Christian faith.
5) Ks. Prof. dr. hab. Jan Zimny, PhD.: Contemporary Model of Teacher Authority – Educator
By nature, man needs authority, a specific pattern of behaviour. The issue of teacher’s authority bothers theoreticians and practitioners of pedagogical, psychological and philosophical sciences. Over the years, representatives of individual disciplines have been interested in the concepts of ideal and real teachers. The importance and timeliness of the problem area due to the changing conditions of socio-political and economic-cultural life, which emerge new matters concerning the teacher, requiring deepening of meanings or a new concept. Today, authority is sought at home, at school, at the doctor’s or at the priest. Many stress that an idol has strongly supplanted the concept of power in today’s world. What does it mean to be an authority? Authority is not only a person’s quality but a set of many features, values and attitudes. One of the people who should be an authority is a teacher, lecturer, educator. This is especially important today when we are dealing with the disruption of axis-normative order. Complaining about the disrespect of young people, students for the authority of the lecturer, teachers, let’s not see the source of this crisis only on the side of the young or the academic community. Often the adults diligently demolish their authority. Today, many experts on this subject call this situation or behaviour “authority suicide.” This suicide occurs when teachers, lecturers, educators lose the proper sense and purpose of their duty; when they cease to serve ideals and young people and begin to be only an “electrical transmitter of knowledge” detached from reality, truth, goodness and order. The Chinese sage says so: “Those lecturers who demand obedience from students but do not care about the spirits of their ancestors are strange. Their orders would always be dead, even if they were clothed with robes woven from lofty and pious words. ” The crisis of authority, therefore, begins with sin against the pure love of God and man, and therefore against true happiness. Thus, in the process of building an academic community, the rightful place for truth must be restored first. As noted by R. Ingarden, the truth can only exist in an atmosphere of total honesty. And we come to the importance of the ethos of those who teach and bring up. Only lecturers and educators who combine their words with an apparent moral attitude are active. Therefore, one should accept the thesis that one of the basic principles of educating the young generation is the personal influence of the lecturer – educator through the right moral attitude.
6) Doc. ThDr. Patrik Maturkanič, PhD.: The Magnitude of Human Life in the Horizon of Socio – Transcendental Understanding
The most precious thing each of us possesses is a human life that we have undoubtedly not given ourselves but which has been undeservedly given to us through our parents. In this context, we should approach it responsibly, through our lifelong actions. To perceive not only material goods, so many times fleeting, but in particular, we should focus our attention on transcendental reasoning. There, it is possible to discover the horizon of the social sphere needed for the present time, which is not only open to tangible help to the other, i.e. the needy person, but also reveals the dimension of the spiritual endowment. After all, the value of a man is hidden above all in his deepest heart, which we intimately call the soul and is a reflection of his inner beauty, the origin of which we find in the secret of intimate touch, which exceeds the capacity of our human understanding. All the more we want to approach this most sensitive subject concerning our own self with humility and responsibility to ourselves, but also to any human being. This is one of the reasons why humanity is the most important measure of all our actions and goals that are directed towards its lasting good.
7) Doc. ThDr. Juraj Sedláček, PhD., Dis.: How to Rewrite emotional Memory?
The deficit in terms of the paternal bond and new phenomena of the current paternity crisis as predictors of inherent uncertainty and contraindications of the son’s growth at the end of adolescence and young adulthood. What fears does today’s young man face? What stems from this in his own fatherly education? What exactly is the source of his internal uncertainty? What forms of behaviour and manifestations of rebellion is he resorting to today? How to rewrite and heal emotional memory? What are the needs of a son, a young man who wants to become independent and start his own family, but who still feels the damage and harmful paternal insults of his childhood inside? What if these feelings are possibly returning in with a new intensity – as his own…? What is the path of self-transcendence of these people? The article also deals with the issue of the role of a person within a relationship, the phenomenon of narcissism, the deficit of empathy and ties, the fluid media impact, pseudo role models and the impact of media on opinion-forming in the case of the deficiency of the paternal role. The relatively widespread phenomenon of the paternity crisis also has its routes to recovery and ways to liberation.
8) Doc. PhDr. Václav Bělík, Ph.D.: Unaware Parent in the Cyberspace
The issue of risky behaviour and its prevention is one of the actual phenomena of socially and pedagogically oriented scientific fields. In the last researches, we have frequently focused on the school environment especially from the view of the nature of children, which kinds of risky behaviour do occur among them and what are its reasons. As well as we have dealt with the pregradual preparation of teachers, their knowledge and experience in this area. Lately, we are studying in detail what are the parents‘ experiences and knowledge in the area of risky behaviour. In today‘s dynamically developing world even the parent himself, as the most important socialization agent, often lacks the competences to protect the child and care for it and many times he his staggering in ignorance how to deal with it. Monitoring of the parents‘ behaviour on social networks presents another interesting area: a parent as an aggressor, a parent sharing the pictures of his children excessively, a parent exhibiting his child to the whole world, a refusing parent etc. The article is based on previous research studies and strives to present the group of parents from the view of their knowledge and experience with risky behaviour and its prevention.
9) PhDr., Mgr. Štefan Medzihorský: Spirituality from a Psychological Point of View
Historically, spiritual experience is most often described in connection with faith, respectively with religion. But we can also explore spiritual experiences in other areas of life. From the humanistic-psychological point of view, it is possible to reflect spiritual experiences in other areas. We will focus on three of them: love, human development and freedom.
- Many published life stories suggest that in a deep love for another person, one can also experience the spiritual practice of accepting the universe. This point of view can be attributed to traditionalism, in the sense of love for human beings and Samaritanism, but in the form of volunteering and social work of various kinds, it transcends to postmodernity.
- Man’s development, his / her inner growth during his / her life, the direction towards mastery and seeking meaning in terms of needs, motivation and activity, represents a direction towards transcendence (Maslow). Part of this is the transcendental experience of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi), loss of contact with the environment and a concentrated focus on the activity or work. It is sometimes referred to as an artistic “trance”, although it accompanies other activities. We also regard it as a spiritual experience within a paradigm based on an optimistic approach to the possibilities of a man of modern times.
- One can say that the desire for freedom, its subsequent attainment and the experience of one’s free self is also a spiritual experience. The experience of internal liberation from manipulative societal superstitions and the tendency to curb individual freedoms opens new horizons for man. From the ability to freely navigate and choose your way of life from the pluralistic impulses of postmodernity, a spiritual experience of the transition from a person predisposed to a particular person may arise.
Some spiritual experiences may also be related to the character of society or belief, for example in the sense of Western individualistic or Eastern distinctively collectivist civilization (Hofstede).
10) PhDr., PhDr. Jiří Kučírek, Ph.D.: The Language of Space and the Consequences of Globalization: Losing Space and Our Housing
Globalisation processes have changed and are changing our anchoring in housing. The modern world dominated by objectivism reason and captivated by technology represents a rejection of our anchoring in the world. The cultures that mediate our understanding of space are rapidly disintegrating. Comparison of all the differences is a consequence of the techniques. The idea of a holistic understanding of man becomes only a bright idea.
11) PhDr., Mgr. Martin Kuška Ph.D.: What do Czechs believe in and how? Transformation of Czech spirituality in a global context.
The paper comments on the results of several currently published research studies (Pew Research Center, ISSP, Rabušič), which dealt with the faith of Czechs. The spiritual dimension of man represents an extension of the biopsychosocial model, which is yet established in the psychology of health. Cultural anthropology considers faith as an invariant: every person in every time and every culture believes in something. Only the contents of faith, i.e. of sacred, are transformed. At the same time, the human ability to understand is closely related to the saturation of the existential needs of man, to the conscious living of meaningful life, to finding answers to existential inquiries (who I am, what is the meaning of my life, what is the purpose of this world, what I have to do). Until recently, the Czech Republic has been characterised as one of the most atheistic countries in the world. The latest research findings encourage the updating of this characteristic, which has been established as a widely shared Czech auto stereotype, i.e., as a general idea of the Czech people about themselves. Domestic spirituality will be presented in an intercultural and historical context.
12) ThDr. Ivan Šulík, PhD.: Communication of Faith in Postmodernity
Also at the present time, the Church is called to announce Christ and his truth to the world. Do the Christians today succeed in addressing people who are not a part of the Church? And do the priests manage to capture the interest of the believers by their way of communication? Why various sects and communities are successful and those to whom Christ has entrusted the mission of preaching his truth are of little interest for the world? As the first Christians also today‘s ones must find a way how to address the people of the third Millenium. On the one hand, the world is refusing the offer of the Church, but on the other one, today‘s people thirst for spiritual values. That‘s why it is necessary that the announcers of the Evangelium manage to mediate to the people the encounter not with some kind of an idea of Christianity but the encounter with a person, with living Christ. To manage this it is desirable that faith grows not so much in its quantity but more in its intensity and depth in the hearts of those who call themselves Christians.
13) ThDr. Anton Ďatelinka, PhD.: Faith as a Phenomenon Expressed in the Ritual Form of Christianity in the Context of Basic Anthropological Needs
Since ancient times the human faith expresses itself in various forms of religious rituals. The aim of the presented article is to focus on the cult expression of Christian faith in connection to the most basic human desires for a ritual experience in life. The liturgy of the Church is set in this universal context and at the same time, it is offering a unique view in the newness of Revelation that is approaching with the offer that has influenced the history of mankind in an unrepeatable way.
14) PhDr. Jaroslava Hanušová, Ph.D.: Spiritual Needs in the Concept of Emergency Care Services
The users of the social service „emergency care“, offered in the framework of the legislative adjustment of the Law No. 108/2006 Sb., about social services, have numerous needs. Although this service aims primarily at people who need continuous assistance for their independent life, the spiritual dimension cannot be omitted. The importance of the spiritual dimension of this service is evident also from the fact that it is provided especially to senior citizens. And so although the emergency care is focused on the needs of maintaining self-reliance and security, it cannot avoid questions of spirituality emerging from the lifelong spiritual orientation of the users or evoked by entering the final stage of life. Those questions may be for example the need of reconciliation, whether with oneself, particular physical persons or with transcendence – that is most often with God. Solving of spiritual questions is certainly not the primary mission of emergency care, but the providers must be fully aware of the context of spirituality in the human life and the service must be able to meet these needs adequately.
15) PhDr. Veronika Šimonová, PhD.: Motivation to Serve People in Need – Interdisciplinary Intersection of Social Work Values and Religious Values
Social work, as well as other helping professions, is based on the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. Social workers have an essential place in serving those in need, in serving people who are in situations where they cannot help themselves. The quality of social work done depends on the personality of the social worker and his motivation and values on which his service is based. The contribution is focused on research and comparison of social work values at home and abroad, and it aims to find the intersection between social work values and religious values. The contribution is also an analysis of the internal and external motivation of social workers to choose their profession and to carry it out every day.
16) PhDr. Jan Lepeška, Ph.D.: A Spiritual Reflection of Selected Problems of the Contemporary World in Comparison with the Crisis of Late Antiquity
The text deals with selected essential problems of contemporary European society in comparison with the community of the Late Antiquity when often the man´s only certainty in troubled times was his spirituality. The paper presents the statements of late Roman authors on the one hand and the views of selected contemporary authors on the other – supplementing the ideas of the author of the article. The beginning of the 21st century has brought many significant changes, but in the light of progress, it also brings uncertainty and primarily ethical and ethnic complex issues. The loss of the certainty of the order and the fear of an uncertain future makes the theme of the spirituality of man and its subsequent search more vital once again.
17) ThLic., Mgr. Andrej Filín: Human Desire for Immortality as a Fundamental Anthropological Principle and the Response of Christian Revelation
This article aims to analyse the phenomenon of death as a universal experience concerning every human being in the history of humankind. In every epoch, man is aware of his mortality and searches for ways to conquer it. In his desire to overcome the awareness of one’s mortality, man has developed and develops various “strategies of immortality” in the past and today. Questions about death and afterlife are of different types, and Christian Revelation also contains answers to questions, where “the riddle of human existence grows most acute.” (Gaudium et Spes, 18).
18) ThLic., Mgr. Marcin Saj: The Moral Dimension of Palliative Care
Our existence is not a mere journey from birth to death, although we know that our life will end one day. Today’s postmodern world very often omits the final part of life that is associated with old age, illness and death. On the other hand, palliative medicine, at present, especially in the Western Hemisphere, seems to be very needed. Palliative care and ‘carers’ are becoming an essential part of our ageing society. Palliative care is consistently based on individual wishes and needs of patients, respecting their value priorities and protecting the patient’s right to self-determination. Palliative care is based on the experience that there is a fundamental difference between healing and quality care for the dying and that death may not be accompanied by fear, unbearable pain and senseless suffering. The goal of good and high-quality palliative care is for the patient who feels to be co-responsible for his life and the fulfilment of the next part. The palliative team, which should include specialists not only in the healthcare professions, has the task of maximising all the positive aspects of the patient’s life and doing everything for the benefit of the patient.
19) Mgr. Silvia Morávková: Spiritual Aspects of Social Work – Social Work as a Profession or Mission?
Social work is perceived as a continually evolving helping profession which currently meets all the attributes of a scientific discipline. Social work is a scientific field based on values, and the social worker’s mission is to do social work conscientiously and responsibly. Our contribution aims to analyse spiritual aspects in the emergence and shaping of social work. We focus on the history of social work, how much the beginnings of social work were of a voluntary, philanthropic nature, based on the principle of love for one’s neighbour. Another critical issue is the transcendence of spiritual aspects for social work in the present postmodern era. The social worker can currently be inspired and proceed, e.g. from principles of the social doctrine of the Church. In connection with this, the perspective of social work as a profession or mission is to be considered.
20) Ks. Mgr. Damian Ataman: Postmodern Concept of Social Life
The author of the article presents the concept of shared life in a postmodern society. First, he explains and describes postmodernism (postmodernity). He points out that postmodernism is a cultural phenomenon, arising and developing in the theoretical and social dimension. In the first case, one can speak of postmodern philosophical, aesthetic, musical and pedagogical theories. The second dimension includes aspects of ongoing social changes, manifesting themselves, among others, in mentality, lifestyles and relations to the sphere of the sacred. He reflects on two dimensions of postmodernism and shows relationships between them. Then the author goes to the characteristics and manifestations of post-modern ideology in society. He considers whether in communities of prosperity, developing technique producing more and more things, in a situation of proclaiming chaos caused by the proclamation that there are no permanent and universal elements, man can be religious. Postmodernism, as a socio-cultural phenomenon, also applies to religion and religiosity. Changes in this area consist mainly of ongoing processes of intensive pluralisation and individualisation weakening the significance of churches as traditional and permanent institutions. He concludes that man’s religiousness of the post-modern era is often not an expression of the pursuit of truth, but satisfying current emotional needs. A feature of postmodernism is, therefore, the existence of an increasing number of religions without God because the exclusion of God makes man free from any obligations, specific requirements, judgments or restrictions.