The Schuman Salon in Brussels opened early in 2017 as an informal space for conversations about Europe. Located in Boulevard Charlemagne, a stone's throw from the Berlaymont centre of the European Commission, the salon is hosted by Schuman Centre staff member, Kathia Reynders.
The salon emerged in 16th century Italy and developed in 17th and 18th century France as an informal space for conversations about philosophy, religion and politics, usually hosted by influential women of means who set the topics and invited guests.
Jerome, the early church father of the 4th and 5th centuries, informs us of a much earlier model of salon in Rome prior to the sack of 410, in the households of influential women such as Marcella and Paula–informal centres of Christian learning argument and devotion
A native of Brussels, Kathia assisted Jeff and Romkje Fountain in the Schuman Centre office in Heerde, the Netherlands, from January 2015 until September 2016. She plans to hold occasional 'conversations' with special invited contributors – authors, academics, politicians, journalists – addressing contemporary European issues. In addition, she plans book circles and film evenings for all interested in topics from the perspective of faith and values, in the light of Robert Schuman's vision of Europe as a 'community of peoples deeply rooted in basic Christian values’.
Excursions are organised to sites in and around Brussels, (including the Erasmus House in Anderlecht, William Tyndale’s place of imprisonment and martyrdom in Vilvoorde, the university town of Leuven with its rich spiritual legacy) and as far away as Luxembourg and Scy-Chazelles (Schuman’s hometown in Lorraine, France).
The salon offers a resource library of books, magazines and videos on Europe’s past, present and future in an atmosphere of quiet reflection and study.
A European Studies Course, led by Jeff Fountain, is being held in the salon on the fourth Saturday of each month, from January through to June 2017, from 10.00 to 15.30. The course involves twelve two-hour sessions, offering perspectives on Europe’s past, present and future. For further information and registration see below.
Jan-Jun 2017 EUROPEAN STUDIES COURSE
Six Saturday sessions (10.00-15.30) with Jeff Fountain offering biblical perspectives on Europe’s past, present and future.
Jan 28 Past: • 33AD-1500: what made Europe Europe?
Feb 25 Past: • 1500-2017: Reformation, revolution & revival
Mar 25 Present: • Responding to secularism, new spirituality and Islam
April 22 Present: • Understanding and evaluating the European project
May 27 Future: • Towards a relational Europe
June 24 Future: • Hopes and challenges
For costs and registration and more information, go to: European Studies Course