Each year some teachers who are friends of the WCCM spend an extended time at Bonnevaux. They may come to retreat, to write and share the life of the resident community. For a week they offer a more informal conversation with the members and guests present which may also become an online session. The culmination of their residency is a retreat or seminar which they lead as an in-person event sometimes also broadcast online live.
Charles Taylor’s contribution to modern philosophy and self-understanding has been brilliantly diverse and influential for a whole generation. His great works Sources of the Self and A Secular Age and collection of essays reflect a broad, deep mastery of culture, religion, political theory and the history of ideas. Throughout his life, his philosophy has been enriched by his participation in politics as well as by his personal faith.
Charles’ theme will ask if history can be seen as the site of a slow growth in ethical vision. Dare we say we are even getting better? The smaller space of our selfish interests has to learn to relate to the vaster space where others matter apart from ourselves. But how does this happen? We see today how democratic societies can slip into wall-building and aggression against those who are threatening simply because they are different or needy. Love of country can lead to hatred of others. Are we nevertheless slowly arriving at a common ethic which reflects the great truths of the wisdom traditions which will allow us to ‘lay down the burden of hatred’? And in this slow growth are religions being re-imagined, less as closed systems and more as paths of transformation?
The interaction of religion and politics is part of the changing theatre of our world: global warming, artificial intelligence, erosion of trust, clashing power-groups. How will the shift of religion towards unifying interiority influence the outcome? And what is the role of meditators in all this?
All our events taking place at Bonnevaux offer an opportunity to discover the rich cultural and historical French and European heritage of the 12th-century Abbaye de Bonnevaux, as well as to explore the varied and natural beauty of the land which we cultivate as a model of ecological responsibility.
Arrival and Departure
ARRIVAL : Tuesday 17 May, check-in : 14:00 – 17:00
DEPARTURE : Sunday 22 May, 14:00