The theme for the 2018 ESRI edition is 'Kinship, Conflict and Compassion'. The narrative arc for this topic begins with the evolutionary story about the development of a capacity for a kind of high-level cooperation that is probably unique to humans. This capacity for an emergent, distributed cognitive cooperation also requires that the ability to connect with others is favored in human evolution. That ability to connect, however, also comes with a tendency to create an “other”, and thus in-group/out-group distinctions are also a product of this evolutionary process. These distinctions, as we experience them now, often create biases and conflict, and this raises the question of how we can overcome the negative aspects of the in-group/out-group distinction while enhancing our cooperative connectivity. The arc of topics thus includes cooperative/distributed cognition and social connectivity as evolutionary developments; the role of in-group/out-group distinctions, in terms of both facilitating cooperation and creating conflict; and the ways that we can transcend conflict and enhance healthy connections through various approaches, including contemplative training.
Elizabeth is joining the Summer Research Institute as part of the contemplative guidance faculty.
The European Summer Research Institute will take place in the Benedictine Abbey (nunnery) of Frauenwörth which is situated in a beautiful, unspoiled landscape at the edge of the Bavarian Alps on the Fraueninsel (The Women’s Island) on Lake Chiemsee. The Fraueninsel has a surface area of 12 hectares and a comfortable walk around the whole shoreline takes only about 20 minutes. The island is one of the oldest cultural sites in the Chiemgau.
The long and varied history, the landscape, the people of the area, pilgrimages to the Blessed Irmengard and the spiritual community have all shaped this marvellous place and give it a special atmosphere and attraction.