2017 marks the 40th anniversary of two key events in European intellectual history: the publication of Charter ’77, the declaration of respect for human rights in Communist Czechoslovakia, and the death of the Czech philosopher Jan Patočka. At the time of his death, Jan Patocka was one of the rare thinkers who recognized the centrality of the philosophical question and destiny of Europe. 40 years later, in the aftermath of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the establishment of the European Union, and the political collapse of the divide between Eastern and Western Europe, the questions pursued by Patocka’s thinking and raised by the publication of Charter ’77 still remain as pressing as ever.
In order to commerate these two events, the Husserl Archives at KU Leuven, the Centre d’Etudes Tchèques at ULB, and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Brussels are pleased to announce the organization of a four-day international conference to be held in Brussels and Leuven, May 2–5, 2017. The aim of this conference is to bring together intellectual historians, philosophers, writers, and political thinkers to debate and discuss the legacy of Charter ‘77 and the significance of Jan Patocka’s philosophy.