In accordance with its mission to promote the multi-disciplinary and international dialogue between theology and the human and social sciences, INTAMS has organized between 2000 and 2004 a series of five Summer Seminars in cooperation with:
• Boston College, Massachusetts, USA
• Università Pontificia Gregoriana, Rome, Italy
• Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Faculty of Theology), Belgium
• Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Faculty of Catholic Theology), Germany
The five Seminars addressed marriage and marital spirituality in an interdisciplinary focus:
2004: What is Marital Spirituality? An Interdisciplinary Investigation
2003: Building Block or Stumbling Block? Exploring the Place of Marriage in Society
2002: A Time for Us: Tracing Time's Textures in Marriage
2001: For Love's Sake? Rethinking the Basis of Marriage
2000: Lifelong Commitment in Fragmented Times? The Actual State of Marriage in Western Societies
The specific themes explored in each of the Seminars were: the relational dimension of marriage as a community of life and love (2000 and 2001); the sexual dimension of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman (2002); the social dimension of marriage as the basic unity of society (2003); and the spiritual dimension of marriage as a religious act (2004).
The theological dimension was enriched by the presence of participants from several Christian traditions.
Participants came from all continents and from a variety of professions (social workers, psychologists, marriage & family therapists and counsellors, educators, pastoral ministers & lay pastoral workers, employees and volunteers at non-profit organisations working with marriage preparation and family ministry) as well as academia (researchers, doctoral and postgraduate students).
Throughout the five Seminars, the exchange among participants from different disciplines, cultures and national backgrounds was one of the major strengths. The seminar format, involving lectures, small and large group discussions, and interdisciplinary panels, provided ample opportunities for participant interaction and personal engagement. All professors and participants, throughout the duration of the Seminars, had access as well to the wealth of resources on marriage and related subjects in INTAMS's own interdisciplinary research library, whether for deepening their understanding of material covered during the Seminars, or to further their own personal research and study.
To facilitate international exchange, all lectures and discussions were conducted in English.
At the end of each Seminar, all participants received a certificate attesting to their seminar participation signed by INTAMS and by the appropriate academic authorities at each of the cooperating universities.