Hildebrand Schülerkreis 2018

Hildebrand Schülerkreis 2018

The Hildebrand Schülerkreis (or “Student Circle”) develops and advances the philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand and Karol Wojtyla in conversation with both the philosophia perennis and with contemporary currents of thought. This seminar is designed to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among scholars and graduate students working on Hildebrand, Wojtyla, and other seminal figures in the traditions of Christian personalism and phenomenological realism. The Schülerkreis seeks in a special way to foster the dialogue between these particular traditions and the broader Christian intellectual tradition, especially with Thomistic philosophy. Each participant will contribute to the Schülerkreis, which will thus not be divided between faculty and learners, but will be a community of peers in conversation.

Distinguished Presenters

John F. Crosby is professor and director of the MA Program in Philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has published extensively on the philosophy of the human person. He was a student and friend of Dietrich von Hildebrand, and during his ten years teaching at John Paul II's Pontifical Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome was deeply formed through personal and philosophical encounters with the Holy Father. He is a Senior Fellow at the Hildebrand Project, which he co-founded. His latest book is The Personalism of John Henry Newman

Juan Manuel Burgos works as Full Professor at the University CEU-San Pablo (Madrid). He is the Founder (2003) and actual President of the Spanish Association of Personalism, the Asociación Iberoamericana de Personalismo (2011), the Journal of Personalist Philosophy “Quién” (2015) and the director of the “Master Online de Antropología Personalista” (with UDIMA University). He has delivered conferences in many other countries, and has published a dozen of books on personalism, some of which have been translated to English, Polish and Portuguese. His book Integral Experience: a Method for Personalism is a new step in his personalistic theory, Modern Ontological Personalism, inspired by the thought of Karol Wojtyla, and his most recent book is An Introduction to Personalism.

Elisa Grimi is Executive Director of the European Society for Moral Philosophy, the editor-in-chief of the international journal Philosophical News and Project Manager of philojotter.com. On 30th May, 2014, she received the Paolo Michele Erede Foundation First Prize with a work on ‘Politics and Network’. She is the author of numerous publications, including her first Italian monograph G.E.M. Anscombe: The Dragon Lady (2014), the collected volume Tradition as the Future of Innovation (2015) and is co-author with Rémi Brague of Contro il cristianismo e l’umanismo. Il perdono dell’Occidente (2016)

Rocco Buttiglione is a philosopher, statesman, and leading European public intellectual. He was a beloved friend and trusted collaborator of Pope St. John Paul II, and is an authority on his philosophical anthropology. His book Karol Wojtyla: The Thought of the Man who became Pope John Paul II is a fundamental work on the pope’s early philosophy. A member of the Italian Parliament for over two decades, he serves on the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and holds the John Paul II Chair For Philosophy and History of European Institutions at the Lateran University in Rome. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Hildebrand Project.

Josef Seifert received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Salzburg in 1969 and, under Professor Robert Spaemann, his habilitation from the University of Munich (Privatdozent) in 1975. He studied chiefly under Balduin Schwarz, the most distinguished German former student of Dietrich von Hildebrand, at the University of Salzburg, and under Gabriel Marcel in Paris. Since his childhood (from age 3 on) he knew Hildebrand personally, because Seifert’s mother had been a student of Hildebrand in Munich and both of his parents were Hildebrand’s friends. He is the author of many books, and Europe’s leading student and teacher of Hildebrand’s philosophy.

Martin Cajthaml is associate professor and head of the Department of Philosophy and Patrology at Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacky University Olomouc. He studied philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, and at the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Lichtenstein. He has published books on philosophical relativism and on Jan Patočka's philosophy of history. His present interests lie in moral philosophy, particularly in mediating between material value ethics and the Aristotelian tradition of moral reasoning. His latest book, The Moral Philosophy of Dietrich von Hildebrand, is presently under review at Catholic University of America Press.


Following the inaugural Schülerkreis held in 2017 at Franciscan University in Steubenville, we are eager to bring the Schülerkreis to Europe, where we can convene the many European students, scholars, and others who have a role to play in the perpetuation of the tradition of Hildebrand and Wojtyla. We are thrilled to be able to meet on the European campus of Franciscan University in Gaming, Austria, in the beautifully restored fourteenth century Carthusian abbey of Maria Thron, located in the foothills of the Alps.


In style, the Schülerkreis is a mix of academic conference and classical symposium. Participants have the option of presenting a paper, or they might contribute by leading a panel or close reading with comments and discussion. Participants presenting papers must submit papers with a reading time of no more than 20 minutes by May 18. All attendees are expected to have read all papers prior to arriving in Gaming. Ample time will be afforded to investigate new questions as they arise. The evenings are often devoted to socials, informal sessions, wine, and music.

There will be an opening dinner on Tuesday, July 3, and a closing dinner on Saturday, July 7.

How to Attend

The Schülerkreis is open to scholars, advanced graduate students, clergy, and professionals in related fields, who are substantially familiar with the works of Dietrich von Hildebrand and Karol Wojtyla, and are looking to deepen their understanding in concert with others.

Any interested person may apply to attend the Schülerkreis. The application is found at our website.

Please complete the application even if you have been invited to attend.

The deadline to be considered for financial assistance is May 22 by midnight EDT (the time in New York City). The window for all applications closes on May 31.

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis, so we encourage you to apply early.

The application is available online here.

Fees and Scholarships

The fee covers room, board (including formal dinners and receptions), and reading materials for the length of the seminar. Attendees are asked to pursue all possible funding sources as fees play a critical role in making the Schülerkreis possible. Attendees whose participation is contingent on financial support may request a scholarship by applying by May 18.

  • Standard Fee: $1,000 
  • Discount Fee: $400 (for those lacking institutional support) 
  • Scholarships: There is a limited amount of scholarship funding available for those whose attendance would require it. Please indicate on your application if you are applying for a scholarship.

Room, Board, and Travel

The Schülerkreis will be held on the Austrian campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Gaming, Austria. Participants will be lodged in the Kartause Maria Thron, a restored Carthusian abbey. Participants will have access to the university library, internet, and other basic amenities. All costs for room and board are included in the seminar fee.

Travel to and from Vienna International Airport will be provided on July 4 and July 8. Parking will be available for those who drive.


  • Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • European Society for Moral Philosophy
  • Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacky University Olomouc
  • John Paul II Chair for Philosophy and the History of European Institutions at the Pontifical Lateran University


July 3 - 8, 2018


Gaming, Austria

To Attend

Online Application

Please submit by May 31


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