The New Tusculum?

Cicero’s summer home, unless I’m mistaken, was Tusculum. This Italian village seems intent on turning the whole village into a haven for philosophers:

CORIGLIANO D’OTRANTO, Italy — Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are the new unlikely heroes of a remote Italian town where local authorities are promoting philosophical thinking for a better way of life.

A philosophy trail leads past a sofa that pronounces deep thoughts when you sit on it, a park with no lights to encourage pondering and posters in the town’s streets ask questions like “Why were you born?” and “What is fear?”

“This is a revolutionary experiment,” the ebullient mayor of Corigliano d’Otranto, Ada Fiore, herself a philosophy teacher, told AFP in an interview.

Fiore said her mission was to get the 5,800 residents of this town in the southern Puglia region to take time out to ponder existential questions.

“All we are saying is ‘look at the direction the world is heading in, it’s not okay,’” she said, adding that Italy’s real problem was not the economic crisis but “the crisis in the relationship between man and his surroundings”.

She admitted the project which she launched in June had “objective difficulties” noting that some schoolchildren had not proved very receptive.

But the philosophical consultations she helped organised are proving popular, with around one in five of the mediaeval town’s inhabitants flocking to the 15 euro ($19) an hour sessions hosted by philosopher Graziella Lupo.

“People come and consult with me mainly on relationship dynamics,” said the bespectacled thinker.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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