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The José-Figols Center Moved to a New Location

The José-Figols Center Moved to a New Location

The dedication the José-Figols Center's (CJF) new premises took place Thursday, February 5, 2009. The CJF is now located in the Saleve Adventist University's library gallery. The space is bright and pleasant and includes a study and documentation room, a

February 12, 2009 | CD EUD

The dedication the José-Figols Center's (CJF) new premises took place Thursday, February 5, 2009. The CJF is now located in the Saleve Adventist University's library gallery. The space is bright and pleasant and includes a study and documentation room, a periodicals and group study room and an office.

The José-Figols Center is the European Center for research and documentation in practical theology for the Adventist Faculty of Theology. Its mission is to encourage and circulate research for up-to-date ministry to young people and practical evangelism. There are four goals for implementing this mission: research (individual or collective, teachers or students), documentation (books, records and magazines available to researchers and any interested library patron), training, and communication to share relevant challenges and courses of action to be implemented in our changing world.

The opening evening was marked by two events. First, a formal ceremony brought together representatives from various Adventist institutions. Gabriel Monet, director of the José-Figols Center, had the opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the financing and the achievement of this move, to introduce the José-Figols Center, and to make three wishes: (1) that the center serve students, (2) that it become a platform for creativity, and (3) that it bring meaning to young people.

Corrado Cozzi, Youth director of the Euro-Africa Division, traced the history of this research center that has existed since 2001 and has showed its relevance and usefulness. Paul Tompkins, Youth director of the Trans-European Division, also emphasized the European dimension of the CJF. Roland Meyer, dean of the Faculty of Theology, noted the importance of research to increase not only knowledge but also the work the church does to help and support young people. Guido Delameilleure, director of the library, showed how different information resources are vital for research. Finally, Sylvain Ballais, general director of the Saleve Adventist University, emphasized the place of such a research center on the campus and remembered the person of José Figols, who was the renowned youth director after whom the research center is named. The opening ceremony concluded with a prayer asking God to bless the Center and those who work and study there.

The second event of the evening was a panel discussion entitled “From Eternity to Internity: How New Technology can Change our Approach to Faith.” Indeed, new technology has contributed to radical changes in our modes of operation and relationships. This of course affects our relationship to faith and to the church. This discussion was intended to initiate practical, sociological and theological reflection on these changes. As Leonard Sweet wrote, “The church uses Gutenberg’s methods in a Google world.” How can we associate eternity with “internity”?

To answer these questions, three speakers each addressed a different aspect of the topic. Pierre Lagarde, data processing specialist, demonstrated some of the changes that the Internet offers today in terms of communication and how these changes radically alter relationships among people. According to Lagarde, these new types of relationships are opportunities that open new doors to evangelization. Next Henri Bacher, founder of logoscom.org, invited listeners to make a historical journey leading from the hegemony of the written transmission to the emergence of digital “orality”. Finally, Gabriel Monet showed that each change engendered by new technology (for example googlelisation, democratization, privatization, virtualization) has an impact on faith and the church and in each case increases both the dangers to and the new opportunities for the church and for the cause of the Gospel.

The José-Figols Center is open to all. It encourages visitors to consult the vast literature available and to discuss evangelism and ministry to young people, topics which are at the heart of JFC’s mission.

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