Delphi Academy of European Studies 2017

The general topic of the Delphi Academy of European Studies in 2017 was the multifaceted (political, economic, geopolitical, humanitarian) crisis in Europe.

Instructors/titles of seminars:

Peter E. Gordon (Harvard): Post-secularism in an Era of Crisis

Stephanos Pesmazoglou (Panteion University of Athens) : Europe in Crisis: Populism, Xenophobia, and the Future of Democracy

Jacques Rupnik (Sciences Po, Paris, and College of Europe in Bruges) : European Responses to the Migrant Crisis: Political Divides and Contrasting Narratives

Delphi Academy 2017

Delphi Academy 2017

Comments from participants of 2017

Ιn my seminar for the Delphi Academy, we addressed the problem of secularism in contemporary European society with special attention to recent sociological and theoretical literature, focusing on debates that have arisen concerning the proposal by Jürgen Habermas that we think of contemporary multicultural Europe as a “post-secular society.”  The students read classical literature on secularisation such as essays by Max Weber and David Martin, plus more recent challenges to the secularisation thesis by sociologists such as José Casanova, Rodney Stark, and Grace Davie.  Most of the seminar was spent addressing the quite formidable social theoretical contributions of Jürgen Habermas, though we also addressed some of the current controversies in Europe over the place of traditional and “integriste” religious movements in modern democratic culture […] Overall I f[ou]nd the experience a remarkably pleasant one, and I was grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Peter Gordon

Professor, Harvard University

The Delphi Academy of European Studies is an ideal setting for exploring the bigger issues behind the current political developments in Europe. Not just the inspiring location but the fact that Greece is a country directly concerned by the combined European crisis of recent years: migrations, euro and democracy. This indeed was the aim of my seminar entitled “Europe’s Dividing Lines and Competing Narratives”: to explore different ways of interpreting the European crisis, trying to put it in broader intellectual and political context and above all, offer participants of different backgrounds and nationalities a chance to reflect upon and debate the issues. Though the focus was Europe they all had an obvious transatlantic dimension which seemed fitting for participants from both sides of the Atlantic.

Jacques Rupnik

Professor, Sciences Po, Paris, and the College of Europe in Bruges

For participants with a legal background, the Academy’s programme is a refreshing opportunity to engage in a multi-disciplinary dialogue on social, political, and international affairs. As for my experience, it allowed me to consider the socio-legal implications of law, as well as its philosophical aspects, from a comparative perspective drawing from other academic disciplines. The Academy gave me the unique opportunity to experience all this in a site near the world’s ancient oracle, with a stunning view over the Corinthian Bay, in the company multinational participants and distinguished professors.

Alexandros Kazimirof

European University of Cyprus

Τhe Delphi Academy has managed to create a little world of its own in a breathtaking landscape. That is why even though you are physically far away from your everyday world, you feel like you have escaped to a parallel universe; with everything you really need; inspiring discussions, international friends, divine Mediterranean food and the sea beneath your feet. I have participated in many seminars and youth exchanges all over the world, but this was without doubt a very unique experience, I am very grateful I was given the opportunity to be able to experience these two weeks!

Garin Tashdjian

University of Cyprus

Room with a view over the olive grove leading to Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. The building of the Delphi Academy conceived to have a room of one’s own secluded and not disturbing the privacy of all other rooms. During the meals, too, we had the opportunity of fruitful discussions with students and colleagues as a follow-up of the seminars. This orientation was enhanced by the founder of the Delphi Academy of European Studies, Professor Panagiotis Roilos, who also secured the presence of extra lecturers in diverse disciplines (urban planning, political and cultural history). The experience at the Delphi Academy included […] re-visiting the unique archaeological Delphic sites and its museum beautifully renovated in 2004 for the Olympic Games. Magic and the feeling of elation are too commonplace expressions for the Delphic Landscape, but this is exactly what we experienced from the premises of the Delphi Academy of European Studies.

Stephanos Pesmazoglou

Professor, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

My time at the Delphi Academy of European Studies was an enriching and engaging experience. The seminars fostered important conversations and created a close bond between the group. I still keep in touch with friends I made this past summer. As a student from the United States, it was an especially rewarding experience to learn from and converse with academics from across the world and spanning different disciplines. The seminars at the Delphi Academy of European Studies broadened my academic interests and have become the basis for my senior thesis. I look back at my time there with fondness and appreciation for the opportunity.

Caroline Barnes

Bates College

This last summer in Delphi […] I experienced myself the coming together of people of different ages, origins, and cultural backgrounds—this time to debate particularly Europe’s current dilemmas across disciplines and across borders.

Through our debates –even the most passionately dividing ones –our group was bonding. Shared time and shared activities, shared interest in the issues that we explored at the Academy this past summer added momentum to the forces at work—a fact that once more proved that, when people sit down at the same table, more than bread is broken. […] Everybody could have the floor both in and out of class. Anybody could raise a point, share a thought, and make their contribution. A commonly shaped space was created–physical, social, conceptual but mainly discursive.

This schema may at first seem not so much action-prone; however, there is no better way, I think, for the people of Europe to realise their common interests and reach a dynamic consensus over their values, priorities and goals. This is the steppingstone, if Europeans are ever to create a positive narrative for themselves, and if any European cause has any chance of sustainable success.

Ioanna Korpidou

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

The Delphi Academy summer seminars offered a chance for rigorous and fascinating discussion of contemporary issues in philosophy and political science, with an interdisciplinary and theoretical focus that is all too rare elsewhere. I learned about secularisation theory, European migration, and the challenges of European integration and inclusion from brilliant scholars in a close and first-hand setting. In addition to the seminars, the Delphi Academy also granted rich opportunities for immersion in contemporary Greek culture and history, with guest lectures and visits to cities and historical sites across Boeotia, and a chance to experience the incredible setting and cuisine of the European Cultural Centre of Delphi. I had an unforgettable learning experience in Delphi and am very thankful to the Delphi Academy for making it possible!

Richard Yarrow

Harvard University