Pontifical Gregorian University

Roma, Vatican

The Pontifical Gregorian University is a pontifical university located in Rome, Italy.Originally founded as the Collegio Romano in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola over 460 years ago, the Gregorian University was the first university founded by the Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits. Its present name was given by Pope Gregory XIII. Containing faculties and institutes of various disciplines of the humanities, the Gregorian has one of the largest and most distinguished theology departments in the world, with over 1600 students from over 130 countries. Wikipedia.

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Buccino G.,University of Catanzaro | Colage I.,Pontifical University Antonianum | Gobbi N.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Bonaccorso G.,Ferrari
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2016

This work reviews key behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroimaging data on the neural substrates for processing the meaning of linguistic material, and tries to articulate the picture emerging from those findings with the notion of meaning coming from specific approaches in philosophy of language (the “internalist” view) and linguistics (words point at experiential clusters). The reviewed findings provide evidence in favour of a causal role of brain neural structures responsible for sensory, motor and even emotional experiences in attributing meaning to words expressing those experiences and, consequently, lend substantial support to an embodied and “internalist” conception of linguistic meaning. Key evidence concern verbs, nouns and adjectives with a concrete content, but the challenge that abstract domains pose to the embodied approach to language is also discussed. This work finally suggests that the most fundamental role of embodiment might be that of establishing commonalities among individual experiences of different members of a linguistic community, and that those experiences ground shared linguistic meanings. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Bohm B.,University of Ulm | Zollner H.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Fegert J.M.,University of Ulm | Liebhardt H.,University of Ulm
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse | Year: 2014

Child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been increasingly recognized as a problem not limited to individual institutions. Recent inquiry commission reports provide substantial information on offense dynamics, but their conclusions have not been synthesized with empirical research to date. The aim of this systematic literature review was to bring together key findings and identify gaps in the evidence base. The three main focus points were (a) types of publications and methodology used, (b) frequency information on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, (c) individual factors in offending, and (d) institutional factors in offending. It was found that reports, legal assessments, and research on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church provide extensive descriptive and qualitative information for five different countries. This includes individual psychological factors (static risk predictors, multiple trajectories) and institutional factors (opportunity, social dynamics) as well as prevalence rates illustrating a high "dark figure" of child sexual abuse. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Visual arts can express deep emotional feelings that go beyond mere iconographic representation. Mary Magdalene is the original figure of repentance, even more than St Jerome or St Francis. The figure is also closely connected to the relationship of Christ with female figures. This paper will illustrate the emergence of this iconography, based on the former model of Mary Aegyptiaca as well as the evolution of this figure from the late Middle Ages onwards. In particular we will try to clarify when, how, and why started the portrayal of penance of Mary Magdalene in art. The roots of the representation of Mary Magdalene probably go back to the thirteenth century and are connected to the Franciscans, who were the first to introduce an iconography of penance. This development is closely connected with the new definition of penance, hermits, but also the new role, even spiritual, of women in that period, characterized by strong growth of female yearning in religiosity, both in its most spontaneous forms and in monastic codification of the Clarisse. The depiction of Mary Magdalene by various artists, finally, captures this ambivalence between individuality and vision of society. One could interpret this iconography as a decrease in the power and role of women in the Church, which transforms her role of a missionary, social and active, into a sinner. The fact that in the first representations of the penitent, unlike the following ones, the naked body of the sinner is not presented, and instead we perceive angels who communicate with her and feed with the bread, puts strong emphasis on chastity and the deep psychological conversion of female figure covered with a hairy coat, based on a personal and intimate relationship with God. This is also reflected in St Francis, who recognizes in a woman, as already did Jesus, a parity and equality with man. In this Franciscan atmosphere the convent of St Clare was founded, under the guidance of Francis, but it had been announced before the renewed female religious turmoil. The depiction of Mary Magdalene, therefore, not only expresses a social situation of women, but a deeper understanding of women in the Franciscan environment.

Friston K.,University College London | Sengupta B.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Auletta G.,University College London
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2014

This paper combines recent formulations of self-organization and neuronal processing to provide an account of cognitive dynamics from basic principles. We start by showing that inference (and autopoiesis) are emergent features of any (weakly mixing) ergodic random dynamical system. We then apply the emergent dynamics to action and perception in a way that casts action as the fulfillment of (Bayesian) beliefs about the causes of sensations. More formally, we formulate ergodic flows on global random attractors as a generalized descent on a free energy functional of the internal states of a system. This formulation rests on a partition of states based on a Markov blanket that separates internal states from hidden states in the external milieu. This separation means that the internal states effectively represent external states probabilistically. The generalized descent is then related to classical Bayesian (e.g., Kalman-Bucy) filtering and predictive coding-of the sort that might be implemented in the brain. Finally, we present two simulations. The first simulates a primordial soup to illustrate the emergence of a Markov blanket and (active) inference about hidden states. The second uses the same emergent dynamics to simulate action and action observation. © 2014 IEEE.

Auletta G.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio | Torcal L.,Pontifical Gregorian University
International Journal of Theoretical Physics | Year: 2011

The terms wave and particle are of classical origin and are inadequate in dealing with the novelties of quantum mechanics with respect to classical physics. In this paper we propose to substitute the wave-particle terminology with that of features-event complementarity. This approach aims at solving some of the problems affecting quantum-mechanics since its birth. In our terminology, features are what is responsible for one of the most characterizing aspects of quantum mechanics: quantum correlations. We suggest that an (uninterpreted) basic ontology for quantum mechanics should be thought of as constituted by events, features and their dynamical interplay, and that its (interpreted) theoretical ontology (made up by three classes of theoretical entities: states, observables and properties) does not isomorphically correspond to the uninterpreted ontology. Operations, i. e. concrete interventions within the physical world, like preparation, premeasurement and measurement, together with reliable inferences, assure the bridge between interpreted and uninterpreted ontology. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Preparata G.G.,Pontifical Gregorian University
Crime, Law and Social Change | Year: 2013

Strain and Defiance are criminological theories that lay ambivalent emphasis on the notion of "rebellion," which is to say that they both regard mutinous behavior as being motivated by positive or negative ends alike. Individuals rebel, say, by stealing in order to achieve higher status (economic strain); or they may violently antagonize authority as a way to "salvage dignity" in an environment in which they have no social stake whatsoever (defiance). Conversely, they may responsibly protest to oppose blind consumerism (strain); or they may civilly disobey racist laws (political defiance). It is here argued that both theories may be construed as special cases of a general problem, which Thorstein Veblen had already diagnosed in 1899. Veblen depicted social dynamics as a battle between the deterring forces of conservatism, which are animated by an overpowering predatory-pecuniary instinct, and those of progressivism, which rely, on the other hand, on an (ever more enfeebled) instinct of cooperation and workmanship. In this Veblenian model, civil defiance represents a challenge of the peaceable middle-class to the rule of the elite, whereas economically-strained defiance is the expression of the attempt of (middle to low) classes possessed by a pecuniary drive to emulate the status of the elite itself. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Flannery K.L.,Pontifical Gregorian University
Christian Bioethics | Year: 2011

Decisions about withdrawing or continuing life-sustaining treatments are often not made in a reasoned manner: those who must make the decisions are often not sure what would constitute an upright decision and, therefore, doubt the correctness of the decisions they have made or are about to make. Making use especially of what Thomas Aquinas says about omissions (i.e., omitting to do something), this article attempts to establish some principles regarding when and why one might (and might not) morally withdraw life-sustaining treatments, regarding the grounds on which a family might resist a doctor's decision to withdraw treatment (or a doctor the family's wishes) and regarding other related issues. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of The Journal of Christian Bioethics, Inc. All rights reserved.

Zollner H.S.J.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Fuchs K.A.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Fegert J.M.,Universitatsklinikum Ulm
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health | Year: 2014

Sexual abuse can lead to long-lasting, even life-long, consequences and is a serious problem on an individual, familial and societal level. Therefore, prevention measures on different levels are a public health issue. Minors as well as adults should be involved in prevention work in order to prevent sexual abuse of minors in a sustainable way. Besides norms, structures and values in society, the respective laws as well as attitudes and structures should be changed and amended in such a way that abusers and the abuse are clearly confronted everywhere. In the last decades, numerous prevention programs for victims have been developed for various target groups (e.g. parenting education classes, home-visiting programs, public education, training sessions for teachers, E-Learning Programs of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Centre for Child Protection). Many of these programs have proven partially effective. Nevertheless, until now there is no consensus in the scientific community on what constitutes effectiveness in this context. Reasons for this are the discrepancies in definitions or the scarcity of attention which the evaluation of prevention measures has received. © 2014 Zollner et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Witte S.,Universitatsklinikum Ulm | Bohm B.,Universitatsklinikum Ulm | Zollner H.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Fuchs K.A.,Pontifical Gregorian University | Fegert J.M.,Universitatsklinikum Ulm
Nervenheilkunde | Year: 2015

Background: In order to prevent sexual abuse and support those affected by it in an appropriate manner, basic information about sexual abuse is needed. In a cooperation between the University Hospital for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of Ulm, the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, the e-learning curriculum "Prevention of child sexual abuse for pastoral professions" was developed, with the aim of training employees in Catholic institutions all over the world on preventing sexual abuse. Methods: The e-learning curriculum encompasses a learning time of approximately 70 hours and is offered in four languages in ten different countries. The learners receive basic information and can deepen their knowledge using case examples and interactive exercises. To assure the quality, participants are surveyed before, during and after participation regarding their satisfaction, the quality of learning units and the fit. Results: 716 participants from ten countries took park in the e-learning curriculum, 148 completed it with a certificate. Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the materials offered. Furthermore, they consider them fitting and helpful for their professional and cultural context. Conclusions: The participants' feedback shows the high acceptance and satisfaction with the e-learning curriculum. Difficulties resulting from poor infrastructure in some countries could partly be solved via the engagement of local partners. © Schattauer 2015.

PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Pontifical Gregorian University, TU Munich and University of Ulm
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of child sexual abuse | Year: 2015

The aim of this research is to study the improvement of empathy in child-care professionals (i.e., teachers, psychologists, social workers) involved in the prevention of sexual abuse against children and youngsters. An E-Learning training pilot program was conducted with pre- and post-measures (T(1) = at the beginning and T(2) = after 6 months) using the programs standardized questionnaires of Situational Empathy and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) as a Dispositional Empathy measure. A sample of 42 experienced professionals involved in activities with children and youngsters was obtained from the International Movement of Popular Education in Latin America called Fe y Alegra. Significant progress was found in the scales of Situational Empathy and in some Coping subscales. The final outcomes seem to indicate that the prevention program elicits important changes in the cognitive sphere and that these changes are more intense when the implication level for the situation is greater. This research shows that empathy can be improved through professional experience and careful situational involvement.

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