Romanian Project

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 Invitation to an RVP Project on

Re-Learning to Be Human for Global Times:

Challenges and Opportunities





Re-Learning to be Human for Global Times:

The Role of Intercultural Encounters



Thematic Description

This project intends to investigate how the intercultural encounter plays its role in shaping the global world today, and how to re-define, if possible, the meaning of being human for the present and the future. Looking through the lenses of different cultures, we have developed an empathy for other spiritual practices, and, hence, become more aware of who we are and where we are situated in the nexus of cultural differences and human similarities. The encounter with peoples and artifacts from different cultures will be studied as an experience which both presupposes and produces knowledge that informs a way of being in our complex world. The knowledge we carry as individual members of a given society is traditionally defined as a culture. In other words, our way of being as human is our culture. Intercultural encounters, either in meetings of individuals from different ethnic and spiritual backgrounds, or through interactions with objects from diverse environments, are able to provide opportunities for reflections on our nature and for exchanges between different cultures.


In today’s global world, the physical and ideological boundaries between cultures have become permeable; intercultural encounters have turned into everyday (un)celebrated events. In fact, intensive intercultural encounters and exchanges are both a cause and effect of the globalized world, where distance is eluded and differences are played down. We encounter people and objects from different backgrounds everywhere, home and abroad, and at the same time cultural differences are more present but less prominent. In order to cope with the contemporary changes and challenges in our cultures, to appreciate the experience of a networking world and to prevent the implosion of violence, our global world calls for a humanity whose culture is rather interactive and permanently re-learnt in the process of intercultural encounters.


This project will provide its members with the opportunity to meet in a welcoming and democratic environment so that all the participants can freely join the discussion and express their philosophical ideas. Beginning from each one's own cultural background and experience each participant will be encouraged to build his or her own academic interests and to produce new insights. The project will bring together scholars from diverse cultural and spiritual environments to focus on the reflection of the thematic. It will facilitate intercultural encounters and promote researches by means of inter/multi-disciplinary tools in the field of humanities and social sciences.


The proposed subthemes of this research project include, but are not limited to:


    - Intercultural encounters as re-learning to be human

- Reviewing cultural identities in global times

- Re-presenting cultural and spiritual artifacts

- Old and new borders in a globalized world

- A phenomenology of intercultural encounters

- Encounters of spiritual practices

- Acquiring and valuing intercultural knowledge

- Humanism(s) in global times

- Academia as a site of intercultural encounters


Project Objectives

This project has two general objectives:

1. to investigate intercultural encounters and their roles in re-learning to be human in global times, and

2. to enable intercultural encounters as means of re-learning to be human in global times

There are also some specific objectives:

1.1. to facilitate experiences of intercultural encounters by bringing together team members and other participants via conferences, workshops and roundtables,

1.2. to prompt reflections on forms and impacts of intercultural encounters at the present through moderated and free discussions, surveys and opinion exchanges,

1.3. to support researches on the development and effects of intercultural encounters in the future through dedicated events, presentations and articles, and

1.4. to coalesce and share the research result through publications and other activities.



Research Team

Team Leader

Dan Chițoiu

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași


Research Coordinator

Oana Cogeanu

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași



Romanian Members:


Alexandru Tofan

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași


Anton Adămuț

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași


Romulus Brâncoveanu

University of Bucharest


Savu Totu

University of Bucharest


Viorel Vizureanu

University of Bucharest


Marian Vild

University of Bucharest


Lilian Ciachir

University of Bucharest


Dan Gabriel Sâmbotin

Gheorghe Zane Institute,

Romanian Academy-Iași Branch


Petre Guran

Institute for the South-East European Studies,

Romanian Academy


Richard David-Rus

Institute of Anthropology,

Romanian Academy





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