On the occasion of World Education Day the Recui- Network of Italian UNESCO Chairs organized its first General Assembly on the topics: peace education future. It was also an opportunity to present a Statement on Migration, the outcome of the work of the group dedicated to the phenomenon of migration. As UNESCO Chair, our contribution focused on Interreligious Dialogue and Human Ecology.

Bioethics Summer Course 2024

Bioaesthetics: for an understanding of Global Bioethics through aesthetic experience

Course presentation.

The 22nd Summer Course in Bioethics “Bioaesthetics: for an Understanding of Global Bioethics through Aesthetic Experience” will be held on July 1-5, 2024. The course will be conducted in Italian and English.

The course is organized by the Faculty of Bioethics in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights established within the Pontifical Atheneaum Regina Apostolorum and the European University of Rome.


Proposing the universal values and principles of bioethics through the universal language of art seems to be an innovative and effective way to address contemporary cultures that are inclined to graphic and digital communication and emotional experiences. Once the foundation and relationship between the good and the beautiful is identified, the principles and values of global bioethics and its convergences with personalist bioethics (bioaesthetics) will be analyzed through artistic experience. The Course will lead participants to the realization of pedagogical projects for education in bioethics through artistic resources.

Course Structure

The Course aims to study the relationship and interaction between bioethics and art and the impact of art on human behavior. Bioaesthetics aims to inspire lovers of the arts to appreciate universal artistic language as a possibility for the expression of moral values and ethical principles, with respect for human dignity and human rights, in a globalized world.

The Course will enable the evaluation and dissemination of the transformative power of the arts in bioethics and its influence on culture. It will also stimulate consideration of the role of the arts in bioethics education.

Finally, the Course aims to assess the impact of the transformative power of the arts in medical research and ethics as well as environmental ethics.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

– Identify the foundation and relationship between ethics and aesthetics.

– Define Bioaesthetics in its relationship to global bioethics and personalist bioethics.

– Design pedagogical proposals for education in bioethics using artistic resources.

Admission and registration

January 7 through June 28, 2024.

Number of participants in the Course: 10 to 60.

Academic Fees

The payment is made once the student has registered and according to the instructions that will be provided by e-mail. Payment can be made by credit card, bank transfer, or at the Athenaeum desk by appointment.

Standard Fee:ONLINE: Five sessions (5 days)270€
ON CAMPUS: Five sessions (5 days) + 1 (ECTS) through an exam275€
Special Category: Priests, Religious, APRA Bioethics Students, APRA Alumni, PhD in Bioethics, RIU ProfessorsONLINE: Five sessions (5 days)220€
ON CAMPUS: Five sessions (5 days) + 1 (ECTS) through an exam225€


Further information:

Practical Matters

The course will be conducted in Italian, with simultaneous translation into English. The summer course is one of the optional courses of the Licentiate in Bioethics and is valid for 1 ECTS for those who will participate in person and take the final exam. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

For other language groups, simultaneous translation will be offered if the number of students is greater than 10.

10th International Bioethics, Multiculturalism and Religion Workshop – Jerusalem

An Interreligious and Multicultural Perspective on

The Nature of Medicine and the Role of Physicians

DECEMEBR 17-19, 2024


During the three days of our UNESCO Chair workshop, we will analyze and discuss “The Nature of Medicine and the Role of Physicians”. The study and conversations will focus on how different traditions understand the discipline of medicine and perceive the practitioners of the discipline. Previous workshops have successfully taken place in Rome, Hong Kong, Mexico, Houston, Casablanca, and Bangkok with the participation of more than 80 prestigious interdisciplinary scholars from around the world.

With the rapid advancement of medical science and technology, the discipline of medicine has been radically changed in recent years and the role of physicians have also been transformed accordingly. And so, it is important to discuss and to understand the redefinition of the medical field through the lens of different cultural and religious traditions.

We plan to gather bioethics experts from Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Daoist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and the secular backgrounds to discuss different papers on “The Nature of Medicine and the Role of Physicians” submitted for this occasion. Like previous workshops, the papers submitted for this workshop will be collected and published as a book.

The general theme was suggested by the experts participating in our previous workshop (Bangkok 2022). To find convergence and cooperation in the field of these crucial issues related to the nature of the medical profession and duty of medical practitioners will be the core subject matter of the papers and workshop discussions and lectures.

Hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, established in two Roman universities, the Università Europea di Roma and Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, the conferences are a first step in creating a permanent academic forum to promote dialogue and bioethical reflection in the light of human rights and duties addressed from different religious and cultural perspectives in the worlds actively advancing medical, legal and technological environment.

By gathering experts from these religions, a rare space for dialogue has been created where an atmosphere of friendship and respect reigns. Such dialogue and encounters allow us to see the other as our brothers and sisters in our common humanity. This is most urgent in our globalized reality and can eliminate suspicions that are sometimes the causes of distrust and even violence.

Our experiences enable us to share values and attitudes that facilitate dialogue and the accomplishment of UNESCO Chair goal of “Fostering the Art of Convergence and Cooperation in Global Ethics”. The Chair seeks to create a forum for diverse bioethics thought leaders. Collaborating in a spirit of respect and friendship we hope to deliver a common framework to guide the application of bioethical principles in the light of the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. In this manner we can inform and enlighten ethical, legal and public opinions, decisions, and actions relative to medicine, life sciences and human rights and responsibilities.


As means of dissemination, publicity and involvement of multiple and diverse scientific, medical and university communities and the public we suggest organizing during the week an event open to the public on topics related to bioethics issues in the light of human rights in a multicultural and interreligious environment.

In this event, experts in the workshop and other suggested by the hosting university will provide academic lectures or presentations for educational purposes and dissemination of knowledge on bioethics and human rights.  We will encourage participation of the outside community including public authorities, doctors and other healthcare personnel, patients, teachers, university scholars and students, and anyone interested in these relevant topics. The workshop and conference are primarily academic and apolitical, even though we encourage participation of all.

The language for this event can be decided locally by the hosting university, providing simultaneous translation into English (for foreigner participants) if needed.

Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham,LC, at the World Medical Association’s Regional Expert Meeting in Pacific on the WMA Declaration of Helsinki

On December 1st, Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC,  Full Professor in Bioethics and Research Scholar of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, will present during the ‘World Medical Association’s Regional Expert Meeting in Pacific on the WMA Declaration of Helsinki’ organized by the World Medical Association.


Ethics of research in conflict settings

Research and trials would pose a significant challenge in conflict settings due to political instability, depravations, and lack of infrastructure.  Humanitarian organizations naturally prioritize aid over research and may need more expertise, resources, and infrastructure to conduct valid research.  Nonetheless, some advocates see value in them as they can measure the cost of the conflicts and the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions.  The ethical challenges are informed consent, research design and review, and benefits to participants and vulnerable groups. p Declaration of Helsinki has not addressed research ethics in conflict settings. However, paragraphs on the necessity of research (26-28), informed consent (25-32), vulnerability (19-20) and benefits to participants (8, 34) are pertinent to this analysis and may benefit from further reflection.  The presentation will end with a virtue ethics approach that can bridge the East-West gap in addressing this topic.

Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC, at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, The University of Hong Kong

On December 5th, Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC, Full Professor in Bioethics and Research Scholar of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, will present during the three-day conference “Regulatory Governance of Emerging Health Technologies” in the “Reproductive Technologies” session. The conference is organized by Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, The University of Hong Kong.


Personalist (Dignitarian) approach to the governance of reprogen medicine.

This paper will first analyze the different notions of personhood and dignity in contemporary debates in philosophy and bioethics. These questions touch on the foundation of identity and selfhood from the viewpoints of essence, nature and metaphysics, and in contrast with those of changing human experience and existence.  These two positions, or “Sources of the self” according to Charles Taylor, have great significance on the human reproductive act.  The essentialist position conceives dignity as derived from the natural sex act, where love and life are intrinsically bound while rejecting physicalism.  The latter existentialist position does not preclude the making of life through technology, where sexuality and gender can take on various expressions. Most traditional religions espouse the essential view of self and generation in contrast with the secular tendency towards existential or ¨liquid¨ understanding of self and reproduction.  Regarding the governance of reprogen technologies, the use of embryos is politically linked to the debate on abortion, as we see in the US Hyde amendment.  In terms of governance, the unsettled questions are therefore: a) embryo status, human dignity and vulnerability at the beginning of life; b) safety of reporgen technologies at the individual level and potential impact on society and future generations; c) fairness in terms of racial, geographical and economical difference affecting the access of such technologies especially in view of the distribution problem of the COVID vaccine; d) transhumanism and its endpoint in view of perfectionism and ablism; and finally e) the place of religions and traditions in a globalized bioethics. Simply put, the dignitarian approach asks: “What does it mean to be human?” and “What does it mean to love?”

Further information: