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In his 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti Pope Francis called for the development of “culture of encounter capable of transcending our differences and divisions.” The Culture of Encounter Project is taking up that call through a global, interdisciplinary effort to explore and advance the idea and practice of encounter across a range of global challenges.

During its first phase (2021-2023), the project gathered 30 scholars and practitioners from around the world to explore the culture of encounter concept, theoretically and practically, from diverse disciplinary and professional perspectives.

This work resulted in two major conferences in Rome (in November 2021 and May 2022), 35 online interviews and group dialogues, six sets of joint reflections, and three working papers centered on encounter as it relates to global governance, interfaith dialogue, and education for global citizenship.

The second phase of the project (July 2023-2025) is focused on three workstreams.

  • A lecture series and book project centered on the main themes of Fratelli Tutti
  • Deeper interfaith collaboration on global issues, with a focus on children and displaced persons
  • Global student dialogue around the idea and practice of human fraternity and global citizenship

Generously supported by the GHR Foundation, the Culture of Encounter Project is a collaboration between Georgetown University and the Vatican Dicasteries of Culture and Education, Interreligious Dialogue, and Integral Human Development. It is housed at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.

Thomas Banchoff, Berkley Center director and vice president for global engagement, Georgetown University, is directing the project. It was announced at a November 2021 conference in Rome organized by the Berkley Center and the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica.

Please direct questions and suggestions about the project to