The Philosophy of “Personalism”

Loading Map....

Date(s) - October 1, 2018 - October 3, 2018
All Day

Sunnyside Retreat Centre (Sylvan Lake, Alberta)

The Alberta Safeguards Foundation, & The Syracuse University Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry are pleased to announce a 3 day workshop on:

The Philosophy of “Personalism” & its Most Relevant Implications to Contemporary Life & Human Services

This workshop presents Dr. Wolfensberger’s interpretation and synthesis of philosophical and value traditions that have been called “personalism,” focusing especially on those from France in the late 19th – early 20th centuries and personalist thinking since then. Personalism, like other philosophies, has implications to a wide range of issues in life, and this workshop interprets the relevance of personalist ideas to a number of concerns of contemporary life, society, and human services.

There is a long history of personalist thinking, and many schools and formulations of personalism. They all tend to emphasize the importance of the human person, especially vis-à-vis structures and absolutisms. The personalism movement that started in the late 19th – early 20th centuries, and that is the particular focus of this event, responded to totalitarian ideologies such as communism and fascism, and to the depersonalizing oppression of industrialized economies. The insights and recommendations of personalists to those concerns of one hundred years ago are still very timely. More recently, developments such as media control of society; computer driven objectification, depersonalization, and centralization; the invasion of people’s minds and their privacy, as via surveillance; and the tyranny of political correctness, as in academia – all these are making personalist analysis and ideals very relevant once again.

Some versions of personalism are more religious than others; some step into the domain of psychology and personality theory. This workshop will mention both religious and psychological ideas, meanings, and implications of personalism, but even people who do not share the religion of some personalist philosophers — even people who do not consider themselves at all religious — can find much food for thought in personalism ideas.

However, the workshop does not get into heavy-duty or specialized philosophical territory, but stays on the level of ‘the intelligent layperson or non-specialist’. No previous versions of this workshop have been criticized as being beyond the grasp of the ordinary intelligent person.

The workshop will cover the history and nature of personalism, who were some of its more prominent thinkers and writers and what they had to say, and many of the teachings of personalism.

Format: The workshop is conducted in lecture style, with a sequential series of presentations that use overheads and slide illustrations as teaching aids. At the conclusion of each presentation, there will be ample time for comments, questions, and discussion on what has been covered so far. Also, participants will be offered a number of reflection questions for their own individual private meditation on the material that has been presented, and its implications for themselves.

Note: This workshop goes into depth on some topics that are briefly mentioned in two other Training Institute workshops: the 5-day workshop on Crafting a Coherent Stance on the Sanctity of Human Life, and the 7-day workshop on How to Function with Personal Moral Coherency. People who have been to either or both of those workshops will find this workshop a good follow-up, but people who have not been to either workshop can still attend this one and get a lot out of it.

To register, or for more information, please contact Carla Hamarsnes at (403) 701-1385, or by email: REGISTRATION DEADLINE September 17, 2018

Personalism 2018 Workshop Flyer