CETR is a study centre specialising in the study of the universal nature of religious experience and the established religions. It is based in Barcelona, Spain (address C? Rocafort 234 bajos. Interior Jardines Montserrat. 08029, Barcelona)
Cetr is an independent space for reflection, study and teaching aimed at the everyday citizen who is interested in finding out more about ideas connected to religious experience in contemporary society. It aims to increase awareness about the diversity of religious experience and promotes activities which will encourage a deeper examination of the challenges society and religion needs to face up to within a cultural environment characterised by globalisation, continuous innovation and the transformation of the accepted order of things.
The organisation came into being through the initiative of its teaching staff who wanted to be able to offer students greater access to religious thought and experience from a viewpoint of independence, respect and investigation. Activities began in the academic year 1990-2000. Courses were offered on Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and as such provided an introduction to both the universal nature of religious experience and religious pluralism. Since then the offer has continued to increase with courses and working seminars on specific texts – the Koran, the Gospels, the great works of wisdom such as the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Zohar, the works of Rumi, Valmiki and Shankara and the Christian mystics such as Master Eckhart and Teresa de Jesus. Further courses have been offered concerned with contemporary writers and ways of thinking. The centre also organises sessions in different types of silent meditation so that students can experience different methods of working towards interior silence offered by different traditions.
The Centre sets out to sustain a double line of work. On the one hand it organises an open program of teaching activities (courses, seminars, conferences, roundtables, cinema cycles) and on the other hand it encourages investigation into religious phenomena and spiritual development in the contemporary world. With this in mind, diverse initiatives are encouraged (such as a teaching group which prepares courses which examine the universal nature of religious experience, or annual inter-religious meetings known as “Los Encuentros de Can Bordoi”)
In order to put these aims into action, Cetr relies equally on the collaboration of people who teach at University level as on others who are more concerned with inner reflection from a view point associated with one of the distinct religious traditions. From the very beginning, the initiative behind this project and its central support has been Maria Corbi, epistemologist, and researcher into phenomena affecting values.
The core members of the group are Mariano Corbí, Montserat Cucarull, María Fradera, Marta Granés, Teresa Guardans, Salvador Junca, Merce Sala, Josep Ma Suris, Dolors Tarrés, Francesc Torradeflot
A brief history
Since the eighties the team that created CETR has been studying and engaging in dialogue about the fact of religion, from the perspective of the deep cultural transformations taking place in our contemporary societies.
Throughout these years we have been working together on many aspects of this extensive subject, always trying to maintain a double viewpoint: on the one hand, trying to get close to the fact of religion and the various religious traditions while, on the other, making an in depth study of the consequences of living in an environment that is subject to continuous innovation, in terms of its values and culture.
We would particularly like to stress the consequences of these social transformations in terms of an understanding of the fact of religion, without forgetting the need to achieve complete intercultural interaction in our contemporary world, where chronological and geographical distances have all but disappeared. A world in which, today, in the same space and at the same time, many cultures that were once distant in terms of time and space must learn to coexist.
Through a program of seminars, practical workshops, a library and a meditation room the Center provides the opportunity to study the teachings and methods of silent practice which are revealed as part of the legacy of religious traditions. It aims to help the growth of human qualities and the inner personal life of people living in a society which is responsible for the development of its own destiny and that of the planet.
In order to achieve our objective it is necessary to follow closely the continuous transformations taking place in out societies, both cultural and otherwise. For this reason our program includes subjects concerned with the changing state of society and others about religious experience and the different religious traditions.
CETR’s activities are aimed at both working people and students or in other words, to all those interested in the more profound and complex dimensions of existence.
What do we hope to achieve?
The Center for the Study of Religious Traditions (CETR) is an independent lay center. It provides students with an opportunity to become acquainted with the wisdom and knowledge found in the religious traditions, their great masters and their sacred texts. As a result they can discover ways of assuming that wisdom without having to commit oneself to any one specific creed or belief.
To provide people living in contemporary society with access to the wisdom found in the religious traditions. Despite the fact that this wisdom is often presented to us embedded in the cultural forms of the past and as such can appear to be difficult to understand.
To encourage people to reflect upon the crisis of the forms in which religion is practiced without blaming anything or anyone. Such reflection should be based on the analysis of the way the cultural model has changed during the transition from the agricultural, hierarchical, authoritarian and patriarchal society where the tradition was first created to societies like ours in a state of continual transition.
To make clear that there are areas of wisdom and knowledge embedded in the religious traditions of the past which actually go beyond those traditions from which they emerged. These should be seen as part of the treasure of human patrimony and essential to the cultivation of human qualities and as such are pertinent to people of all times including our own.
To insist that contact with the great texts and the great masters should be used to stimulate personal growth and discovery through the unveiling of inner wisdom rather than used solely for the sake of erudite investigation.
To demonstrate that the profound dimensions expressed in the religious traditions can be cultivated by individuals without adopting the cultural forms of the past.
To make a lay spirituality without beliefs possible while at the same time developing an environment of coexistence and respect for those who continue to give validity to the traditional forms of religion.
Do you want to collaborate?
It can be that you wonder how you can collaborate with us. We are opened to your offers. We search volunteers who want to collaborate in the translation of texts and articles for the web (from Catalan or Spanish to other languages). If you believe that you can collaborate in a disinterested form in the translation, do not hesitate to contact us.
The maintenance of the classes, the update of the library, the website… supposes costs that cannot be loaded totally on the matriculation. Any kind of economic support can be of a great help for us. Contributions are welcome!
CETR – Centre d’Estudi de les Tradicions Religioses
Rocafort 234, baixos
08029 Barcelona (Spain)
+00 34 93 410 77 07
+00 34 93 321 04 13