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Sophia University Institute: an innovative approach to teaching Economics

2013-11-16

The name Sophia originates from the Greek word for "wisdom.” It's also the name of this university, which now turns six years old. Inside these classrooms, students learn about Economy, but from a perspective that's centered around one word: Communion.

At the Sophia University Institute, the method used to search for answers to today's problems is through knowing, discussing and understanding what is going on at the moment.

"In France, there are so many students with degrees or specialized in one specific field, but they don't have a wider view of things.”

"The economy of communion is not Capitalism or Communism. It's a new reality that can bring a  new perspective to my city.”

MARIA VOCE
President, Focolare Movement
"I think that Sophia can provide this space to humanity, to find answers to the world's challenges. Global answers that arise in a spirit of universal brotherhood, built through interaction with each other.”


The Sophia University Institute is an initiative from the Focolare Movement. They teach the Economy of Communion, based on an idea from its founder, Chiara Lubich

Her view of economy and business was inspired by the first Christian community in Jerusalem. In the city, all people helped each other. They voluntarily redistributed wealth, as a way to fight poverty. The university says a culture based on brotherhood, without expecting anything in return, can make society move forward, and it also promoted dialogue.

YOSEF LEVI
Rabbi for the Jewish Communities in Florence and Sienna (Italy)
"I find this experience to be very interesting. Here's how to link science, religion, and human experience to create a better future. I feel this Institute is doing just that, obviously using Christian language and context. But that doesn't take away from the appreciation of the deepness and humanity that students show year after year.”

MARIA VOCE
President, Focolare Movement
"It seem to me that the main concern Pope Francis has is to go out and encounter people, and give some sense to their lives.”

The Focolare Movement was established in 1943 in Trento, Italy. It's now found in more than 180 countries. The movement's charism is to promote brotherhood between people of different cultures, social backgrounds and religions. The end goal is to make the world a better place, using Christ's teachings.


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