Werner Ulrich's Home Page:  Picture of the Month

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May 2005

   Picture of the month











Ticino tipico  Ticino is the Italian speaking southern part of Switzerland. Among its major tourist destinations are Lake Lugano (Lago di Lugano) and Lago Maggiore, the two Upper Italian Lakes that Switzerland shares with Italy but which are often assumed to be situated entirely on Italian territory; picturesque mountain valleys and their villages, such as Valle Verzasca, Valle Maggia, Valle Onsernone and many others; and charming small cities such as Lugano (at Lake Lugano), Bellinzona (at the southern end of the Gotthard Pass road), and Locarno and Ascona (both at Lago Maggiore). Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, southern lifestyle, and beautiful landscapes, Italian Switzerland is one of our country's most popular holiday areas. Even so it has remained relatively unknown among many international visitors who primarily associate Switzerland with tourist destinations in the country's German and French speaking areas such as the cities of Lucerne, Geneva, and Bern or the mountain areas of the Bernese Oberland, the Grisons, the Valais, and others. The upcoming Lugano Summer School gives me an occasion to correct this imbalance of attention a little bit.


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Lugano Summer School 2005  The first warm days have come with May and have reminded me that before the month is over, another Lugano Summer School will have started at the University of Italian Switzerland in Lugano. For the first time, it is held as a Doctoral Summer School. The new aim of LSS 2005 is to explore possibilities for an integration of "soft" and "critical" perspectives of systems thinking, as represented by Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) and Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH). Thus the learning goal for the participants is not only to understand the basic assumptions and the application of the two approaches, so as to be able to start practicing them, but also to overcome the frequent opposition of soft and critical systems thinking as (allegedly) paradigmatically incompatible perspectives. The chief aim consists in promoting reflective professional practice, rather than maintaining paradigmatic purity.

Accordingly, every participant will be expected to work out and present his or her personal framework for integrating these two approaches into their future research and professional practice. To what extent we – the participants together with the Faculty – will succeed in this endeavor, I do not know at the time of writing; but in any case, I am confident LSS 2005 will prove to be a worthwhile learning opportunity.



Lugano  I can hardly think of a more enjoyable place in Switzerland than Lugano for organizing a Summer School that deserves its name! Its situation in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, on the southern slopes of the Alps, and the mild climate and Mediterranean ambience that go along with it, blend in with the elegance of Lugano as a tourist center and with the radiating beauty of its lake and of its rich subtropical vegetation. It is not easy to explain, but this small, lively city has a charm to which few resist.

Main building of the University of Italian Switzerland in Lugano where LSS 2005 is held


This month's picture: Ticino tipico  After the passing of Pope John Paul II and the election of his successor, former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Pope Benedict XVI, we have witnessed an amazing world-wide presence of religious themes, and of the Catholic Church in particular, in the media. It may be noteworthy to point out that the Canton of Ticino is among those Swiss Cantons which are mainly Catholic and where religion still has a prominent place in everyday life, like in other Mediterranean and Latin countries. In Ticino, you never need to look far for the next small chapel, for a cross or religious statue along the road or in the villages and towns. Virtually always, you will also find some flowers or a candle light, attesting the fact that faith and spirituality are alive and represent a natural part of everyday life. I have therefore decided to make this typical architectural and spiritual aspect of Italian Switzerland the subject of this month's picture.  



Technical data  Analog photograph taken on 29 June 2003, during the Lugano Summer School 2003, in the village of Monte Brè high above Lugano. The picture was taken on a hot summer afternoon with 24x36 negative film (ISO 200), focal length 35 mm (no further technical data available). Current resolution 602 x 906 pixels, compressed to 99 KB.


May 2005

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May, 2005

May 2005 - Ticino tipico

 Ticino tipico: Monte Brè above Lugano 

There is no other way: reason and faith must once again come together, without dissolving into one another.

("Es geht nicht anders: Vernunft und Religion müssen wieder zueinander kommen, ohne sich ineinander aufzulösen." – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XIV, in his essay "Glaube zwischen Vernunft und Gefühl," in Die neue Ordnung, 52, 1998, pp. 164-177. English version: "Faith between Reason and Feeling," in J. Ratzinger: Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press 2004.
The English translation here is my own.

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Last updated 6 Dec 2009 (layout) and 16 May 2005 (text, first published 1 May 2005)


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