Intensive European Bioethics Course “Religion and Bioethics” (Padova, Italy, June 6-8, 2016)

Intensive European Bioethics Course “Religion and Bioethics” (Padova, Italy, June 6-8, 2016)

The Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, announces the lecture series on ‘Religion and Bioethics’. 

Background and objectives

In our globalized and multicultural societies, religions play an important role since they profoundly shape the different cultures. Given this phenomenon, the traditional modern strategy of managing conflicts by separating public and private sphere doesn’t work anymore. Indeed, many authors have suggested that we live in post-secular societies, in which religious attitudes and secular values are closely interconnected and influence each other. Also for this reason, it has become more and more evident that bioethical issues cannot be dealt with just with principles and rules, because they always involve dimensions of meaning. Since the most important sources of meaning for the life of many people come from religious traditions, reference to religions also in bioethics is inescapable. Yet, the more such reference and consideration of religions become inevitable, the more bioethics must create the conditions for a fruitful dialogue among these traditions and between religious and secular persons. The lecture series explicitly identifies the basis for this dialogue in the anthropological dimension. Such strategy seems to make possible and justify, better than other approaches, the link between bioethics and religions.

Contents of the course include: (1) a critical analysis of different approaches on the relationship between bioethics and religion; (2) a sociological perspective on the interaction between religious attitudes and secular values; (3) anthropological presuppositions and bioethical implications of important Western and Eastern religious traditions: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam. As to the methods, the course will combine lectures, group discussions and workshops. Since the course will have participants from different religious traditions, group discussions will be of particular interest and a source of reciprocal enrichment. All course activities and materials are in English.

Our faculty includes: Stefano Allievi (University of Padova, Italy), Antonio Autiero (University of Münster, Germany), Mohammed Ghaly (CILE – Center for Islamic Legislation & Ethics, Qatar), Emanuela Magno (University of Padova, Italy), Massimo Reichlin (University “Vita e Salute – San Raffaele”, Milano, Italy), Antonio Rigopoulos (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy).

The course should be of interest for: healthcare professionals working in multicultural settings; healthcare ethics committees members; healthcare chaplains; hospital volunteers; philosophers and sociologists interested in the role of religion in the public sphere; theologians dealing with the inter-religious dialogue.

Location: Aula Mocenigo, Palazzo Bo, Padova, Italy.

Language: English.

The course fee is 600 € (300 € for university students and PhD candidates).
The fee includes tuition and course materials, as well as one dinner and the guided visit to the Scrovegni Chapel.

For Italian participants: attending the course will give ECM credits (ECM stands for “Educazione Continua in Medicina”, i.e. Continuing education in medicine). The following professional figures can get the credits: medico chirurgo, infermiere, infermiere pediatrico, biologo, psicologo, fisioterapista, ostetrica/o, educatore professionale.

The deadline to register is May 29, 2016.

For more information, please visit the website: or write to Silvia Tusino:

The lecture series on Religion and Bioethics is part of the Erasmus Mundus Master of Bioethics program.

Kind regards,

Prof. Corrado Viafora (course scientific coordinator)

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