In Search of the Human Face

"Nothing is so mesmerizing as the discovery of the real dimensions of one's own 'I,' nothing so surprising as the discovery of one's own human face." (L. Giussani)

To read more about events connected to this year's theme, see:

2015 Theme Readings

Rapid transformations in society and culture are driving many people to ask new questions, and to re-examine answers that had long been taken for granted. What can science contribute to the understanding of who we are? How do the new means of communication shape the perception of ourselves in relationship to others? What does national identity mean in a globalized world economy? How does our sexuality, and the way we structure our families, affect our sense of self? What is the role of religiosity in forming our individual and collective identity?

All these questions express, in different ways, a broader quest to redefine our identity, in the struggle between our boundless aspirations and the limits of our condition. In such a quest, boundaries imposed by reality or tradition are frequently viewed as impediments and the very idea of freedom is pushed to a new level, from “doing” to “being” what we want. Yet, at the same time, we often experience a profound nostalgia to somehow recover our authentic self and to belong.

Curiosity about the person and the search for our true face are the themes of this year’s New York Encounter. Many people in our society are seriously asking these questions and many, in various disciplines, are suggesting answers. New York Encounter invites you to a weekend of public discussions, exhibits, and live performances to meet with some of the protagonists of our times, to engage them at the level of human experience, and to verify what contribution the Christian event can offer to this exploration.