Ramon Llull, Universal Philospher

Project location: BRAZIL, Sao Paulo
Project start date: December 2018 - Project end date: December 2019
Project number: 2019-001
Beneficiary: Instituto Brasileiro de Filosofia e Ciência "Raimundo Lúlio" (Ramon Llull)

Since its inception, the aim of Instituto Brasileiro de Filosofia e Ciência "Raimundo Lúlio" (IBFCRL) was to spread the culture and the language of the Catalan people, starting with a broad and deep dissemination of the person and thought of Ramon Llull.

Ramon Llull has been a universal scholar, born and nourished in Catalan lands, creator of the Catalan language, and who better gave life to, and knew how to concretize, Catalan "common sense". In addition, the founders of the IBFCRL were convinced that the Luliano conceptual universe and the values it cultivated are essentially integrative and multidisciplinary, and that this last characteristic, evidently precursory, offers a potential for solutions to the problems that Brazilian heterogeneity entails and for a better harmony of this continental American country.

From its very beginning, the IBFCRL wanted to link the two cultures - Catalan and Brazilian - through an exchange of people and knowledge. In the first place, it was thought to consolidate Llull's thought in university environments, with the aim of awakening curiosity about this author, almost unknown in Brazil in the last years of the last century. Afterwards, it assumed that certainly some university students would want to go to Catalonia to perfect their knowledge. Thanks to the collaboration with the Generalitat of Catalonia, many university students have been able to do their Masters, Doctorates and post-doctorates in Catalan universities.
The previous and main tool for this objective was to make known in the Brazilian universities the figure and the thought of Ramon Llull. The tactic put into practice was to persuade some university professors from different areas to study and even specialize in the works of Llull. Such a thing was considered a great long-term effort, but it would be safer, because if these professionals were professionally dedicated to the study of a Catalan thinker, they would definitely have a link with Catalonia. Some members of the IBFCRL, from the areas of History and Philosophy, began to produce Lulian texts that were made known in national and international Congresses of Medieval Philosophy, or in specialized magazines. Little by little, professors of Brazilian universities were trained and began to teach Lulian thought to their classes in the faculties of History, Philosophy and Sciences of Religion.

When the IBFCRL was recognized as the Catalan Community of the Exterior by the Generalitat of Catalonia, it was possible to invite Catalan and European thinkers to come to Brazil for colloquiums, congresses and conferences. The exchange of works became bidirectional and, first through the Institution of the Catalan Letters and after the Ramon Llull Institute, Llull's works were translated into Portuguese and distributed throughout the country.

The constant growth of this movement has had as a result that, currently, whenever there is a national or Latin-American Congress on medieval studies being held, there will be a member of the IBFCRL, or a student of a member, giving a presentation about Lulian work. At the congress of the Société Internationale pour la Étude the Philosophie Mediévale (S.I.E.P.M.), the most important association of medievalists, which took place in Freising, Germany, when its president was Josep Puig Montada, a member of IBFCRL. Mr Montada was asked to create a new Lulian Section in the S.I.E.P.M., considering the high number of Lulistas, more than twenty, who participated in that Congress. Ramon Llull was the medieval author who had the largest number of speakers, five of whom because of the effort made by the IBFCRL. In the last Congress of the (S.I.E.P.M.), in Porto Alegre, Brazil, six members of IBFCRL participated.

The interest of the Brazilian population in the study of the Catalan sage, the history of Catalonia, and its sociology and spirit has not stopped growing. It is true that the economic growth of the time and the worldwide interest in football have contributed a lot to this success, but regarding matters of thought and culture, it is believed that the IBFCRL has had a good participation as well, as it can be proved by the edition of more than 262,000 copies of Lulian works as pocket books, distributed by bookstores and even sold in more than the 2,400 newsstands in the Brazilian territory.

An IBFCRL project that contributed greatly to the international dissemination of Catalan studies was, without a doubt, the International Congress on Interculturality - Debating the Thought of Ramon Llull, which was developed in three stages: the first in Les Escaldas, Andorra , in 2009; the second in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2010, and the third in Palma de Mallorca, in 2011. The three were organized by the IBFCRL with the participation of German, Argentinean, Belgian, Brazilian, Catalan, French, Spanish, Italian and Turkish professors, and with the financing of the Insular Council of Mallorca and the Ministry of Culture of the Principality of Andorra.

It can be said that the IBFCRL has contributed to a greater link between Brazil and Catalonia, which has already gone beyond the strictly university field, and has begun to enter into the culture and society of this country. Today the IBFCRL sends newsletters, publishes books, e-books, magazines, and has contracts with online publishers and distributors worldwide. During the centenary of Ramon Llull’s death, the best Brazilian magazine of medieval studies published a number totally dedicated to the thinker Ramon Llull, something that has only been possible with the collaboration, organization and realization of the IBFRL.
At this point, the intention of the Board of the Institute is to continue the line taken from the beginning, expanding the size and scope of its work, due to the social change that occurred in many countries at the beginning of the third millennium. For this reason the RAMON LLULL Project, UNIVERSAL PHILOSOPHER, which received a grant from the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, was developed.

The objective of the Project is to bring together those who are interested in collaborating in the study of solutions to the major problems facing societies in these times. The IBFCRL intends to expand its field of work with new professionals, specialized or not, who feel the urgency to diminish the ills that have been expanded by many societies.

Ramon Llull was a really open minded man, showing great respect to the diversity of people, cultures, ideas and opinions, truly open to all philosophical speculation. As there are many correct solutions for current problems and also many particular public policies that can be proposed, it is important to understand that, on the one hand, Ramon Llull knew how to harmonize the general principles with the values that guide human existence, and on the other hand, gave paramount importance to personal freedom, always respecting the opinions on specific issues that people and institutions can present. In addition to being a great pacifist, Ramon Llull was already a defender of freedom in his time, and his thinking can support fundamental freedoms, as required these days. For this reason his ideas turn out to be useful at all times.

This project has mainly two objectives: the publishing of books and the making of small videos with specific explanations, made in response to the questions asked about Ramon Llull's thinking.

The books that will be published are two works by Ramon Llull, translated into Portuguese: Llibre de Evast i Blanquerna and Llibre de Nostra Dona, and a doctoral dissertation on the anthropological foundation of fashion, rooted on Ramon Llull's thinking. The videos will be shared on YouTube.

think global, act local
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