‘Ramon Llull and the encounter of cultures’ exhibition lands in Brussels
The exhibition ‘Ramon Llull and the encounter of cultures’ landed on Wednesday at the Espai Catalunya Europa in Brussels and will remain open until January. This itinerant exhibition of the IEMed – the European Institute of the Mediterranean – is part of the events organised in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the death of Ramon Llull. The aim of the exhibition is to “explain a little more about what was the world of Ramon Llull” and the role he played “in establishing a dialogue between cultures, civilisations and different religions”, the Executive President of IEMed, Senén Florensa, told the Catalan News Agency. The exhibition has already visited Tarragona, in southern Catalonia; Vic, in central Catalonia; Valencia; and Barcelona.
Brussels (CNA).- The representation of the Catalan Government to the European Union officially opened on Wednesday the exhibition ‘Ramon Llull and the encounter of cultures’ at the Espai Catalunya Europa in Brussels. The Executive President of the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), Senén Florensa, who participated at the inauguration ceremony, told the Catalan News Agency that the exhibition tries to “explain a little more about what was the world of Ramon Llull”, giving a snapshot of what the era of the Middle Ages was like and the role that Llull played “in establishing a dialogue between cultures, civilisations and different religions”. The exhibition coincides with the 700th anniversary of the death of Llull and will remain opened until January.
During the inauguration, Florensa stressed that Llull was “the initiator of intercultural and interreligious dialogue” and “probably the most universal author in Catalan literature”. Furthermore, Florensa stated that the Catalan language “suddenly turned from almost nothing, a patois of Latin badly spoken, into a literary language thanks to the incredible work of a single author, Ramon Llull, who wrote three hundred and twenty something works”. The Executive President of IEMed said that the showing allows an understanding of the thinking of Llull and his willingness "to dialogue and debate” around religious issues. In the Late Middle Ages, Llull sought to convert those he considered “infidels” but he did so “not with the sword, but with the word”, as the author wrote in the ‘Book of the Order of Chivalry’.
Florensa pointed out that the reception of the exhibition has been “extraordinary”, as have been the discussions generated around the intercultural and interreligious debate. Indeed, in Brussels the inauguration coincided with a conference of a professor from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Victor Pallejà, a specialist in the history of religions, philosophy, Islamology, Sufism and Lullism, an esoteric philosophy based on the search for truth in all areas of knowledge.
The exhibition first visited the city of Tarragona, in southern Catalonia, where its presentation took place on the occasion of the Llull Year. The next stops were Vic, Valencia, Barcelona and finally Brussels, where it will remain until the first week of January. However, its route has not yet been completed because it has a last visit to Rome next year.
Ramon Llull, also known as Raimundus Lullus, was an important Mallorcan writer, a philosopher, poet and theologian who lived in the 13th century. He is one of the most well-known writers and thinkers of the Middle Ages, not only in the Catalan-speaking territories, but also in the European tradition as a whole.
His many interests enabled him to make remarkable contributions in numerous areas of knowledge, ranging from philosophy and theology to law, medicine, astronomy, rhetoric and logic. At the same time, he produced a solid body of literature and is also known for having written at least 265 works, including ‘Blanquerna’, ‘The Great Art’, ‘Tree of Science’ and ‘The book of the Lover and the Beloved’. His works were written in Catalan, Latin and Arabic, but have been translated into many other languages. He died in 1315 in Mallorca at the age of 83.
Llull Year commemorates the 700th anniversary of the writer’s death
Llull Year, an initiative to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the author’s death, includes a programme of 300 activities aimed at disseminating the work of the Balearic philosopher. The activities that will run until the end of November 2016 in Catalonia (160), the Balearic Islands (40), Spain (10), and other countries (72) range from exhibitions, readings, conferences, round tables and concerts to academic and educational projects, plays, dance events, activities in schools and press conferences.
As part of the commemoration, 45 publications have been published this year about Ramon Llull: twelve original texts, ten adaptations of works by the author into modern Catalan, eight works translated into four languages (Spanish, English, German and Romanian), and 15 texts and studies about the writer.