Members of the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project are preparing for their upcoming conference that will take place at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross May 27-29. The group seeks to bring together philosophers, theologians, psychologists, physicians, scientists, and artists to unpack the original insights of Dietrich von Hildebrand's most important philosophical work, “The Nature of Love.”
Also scheduled is a retreat for business leaders on cultural renewal.
Hildebrand, a major Christian philosopher, religious writer, and courageous intellectual opponent of Hitler and Nazism died in 1977. During his lifetime, he stressed the importance of love, saying: “Love alone brings a human being into full awareness of personal existence. For it is in love alone that man finds room enough to be what he is.”
“Hildebrand defined his heroic battle against Nazism as the 'struggle for the person,'” said John Henry Crosby in an April 28 statement. Crosby co-founded the project in 2004. “While the threat of Nazism is gone today, human dignity is as endangered as ever before. We want to contribute to the perennial task of clarifying and defending human dignity, and we want to do so through the lens of love."
The philosopher and writer was a friend of Pope Pius XII, who referred to von Hildebrand as a "twentieth century doctor of the Church." He has also been praised by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, the latter of which served as an Honorary Member of the project until his 2005 election. “The Project would not exist today were it not for the generous support of Pope Benedict XVI," said Crosby. "The Holy Father's many acts of friendship, including a sizeable grant from the Papal Foundation and a wonderful letter of support, have allowed us to gain a footing on the world stage."
The Von Hildebrand Legacy Project also announced that the conference is being underwritten by two United States-based foundations: the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute . Additionally, it has received the Patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
"This patronage is for us a great honor," said Crosby. "We hope it marks the beginning of an important collaboration."