An 'Impossible' Unity

Annual Three-Day Public Cultural Event

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That nostalgia for unity, that thirst for the absolute, reveals the essential dynamics of the human drama.  — Albert Camus
The 2018 New York Encounter, an annual three-day public cultural event featuring panel discussions, artistic performances, and special exhibits, will take place January 12-14, 2018, at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street in midtown Manhattan.
The Encounter’s 2018 theme, An “Impossible” Unity, seeks to address the fragmentation in today’s polarized culture, which often finds its roots within ourselves, and to explore what might regenerate a unified sense of the self and of our society. During this weekend of communal exploration, the two dozen events and five exhibits offer, through the powerful lens of experience, a profoundly incisive and fundamentally positive outlook. Topics under the theme’s umbrella cover the gamut of life, from social justice and human development to discoveries in neuroscience and economic analyses; from discussions on fatherhood and other relational bonds to education models and perspectives in varying religious beliefs.
Now in its 10th year, the Encounter aims to give witness to a new, flourishing life, generated by faith. Supported by the work of 350 volunteers, it catalyzes intense engagement among speakers and attendees, from all walks of life, whose common ground is that of inquiry, the desire for dialogue, and, ultimately, hope.
In the upcoming Encounter, there will be a special event with international witnesses to the life of Father Luigi Giussani, whose charism inspired the creation of the Encounter, on the occasion of the release of his biography in English.   
Highlights from among the 25 events:

  • Saturday, Jan. 13, 6:00 pm — “OUT OF MANY, ONE”: REALLY?

A dialogue on shared bonds and ideals in today’s American society with Amitai Etzioni, University Professor at The George Washington University, and Mark Lilla, Professor of Humanities, Columbia University.

  • Sunday, Jan. 14, 2:00 pm — ON PILGRIMAGE TOWARD UNITY

The life of Dorothy Day with Tom Cornell, associate editor of The Catholic Worker, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and Margaret Laracy, clinical psychologist.

  • Sunday, Jan. 14, 4:00 pm — ABRAHAM AND THE BIRTH OF THE “I”

Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim perspectives with Sayyid Mohammad Baqir al-Kashmiri, Chairman of Imam Mahdi Marjaeya Association, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., and Joseph Weiler, Joseph Straus Professor of Law, New York University.
All events, except for the Saturday night performance free of charge. No registration necessary. Credentialed media are welcome. Contact for interviews: or (914) 548-1275 (before the Encounter) and (916) 505-6989 (during the Encounter).
I am so moved by this group, by the youth of this group. We need more movements like this. — David Brooks

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