University of Salvador (Argentina)
Salvador’s university. Its headquarters is located in the Argentine city of Buenos Aires. It was founded by the Society of Jesus, being the Higher Institute of Philosophy its closest predecessor, founded in the headquarters of the Colegio del Salvador on June 8, 1944.
In 1955, the operation of private universities in the country was authorized and a year later the Foundation Act of the University Faculties of El Salvador was signed. On May 15, 1958, it changed its name to Institutos Universitarios del Salvador, which were recognized on December 8, 1959, as a private university with the name “Universidad del Salvador”.
In March 1975, the Society of Jesus entrusted the conduct of the USAL to a group of lay people, who assumed the responsibility of preserving the identity of the “Universidad del Salvador” in the fulfillment of its goals and objectives.
Since its inception, USAL’s educational action has been guided by a humanistic and Christian conception that favors the formation of people who are supportive and open to dialogue between science and faith.
The Universidad del Salvador, according to its Academic Statute, has the following essential and specific purposes:
- The comprehensive training -scientific, humanistic and Christian- of its students, in all careers or specialties, in order to promote professionals, teachers and researchers;
- Scientific research capable of demonstrating the harmonic synthesis of science and faith;
And in general, all higher education aimed at the Christian vision of the different human problems.
The task of “comprehensive training” that the University proposes, necessarily supposes:
Training as a person
- The Universidad del Salvador defines itself as a “Church Community rooted in the Argentine Nation” believes that there can be no comprehensive education that explicitly or implicitly does not lead to the Christian worldview. The fight for personal formation is a fight against materialistic and degrading conceptions of the human being.
- The Universidad del Salvador is a confessional University and for this reason it must be faithful to the evangelical message, and to the spirit of the Society of Jesus that created it and gave it a style of fidelity to the Church and openness to dialogue.
- From this point of view, what the University contributes to the training process of its members is manifested not only in theological or philosophical matters, but also in the worldview that illuminates all its activities and in the testimony that as an institution it wants to give, of a lifestyle where understanding, respect and dialogue are the bases of the interpersonal relationship.
- It gives primacy to the ethical and transcendent sense over the intellectual element so that it illuminates the latter and leads it to bear fruit in works of value.
It is about forming good men, integrated at all levels of relationship: with God, with other men, with oneself and with nature.
Training as an Argentine
- The University must affirm the historical national conscience, affirm its own identity, to access, from it, the universal.
- The University rejects any exogenous and materialistic cultural model, which is foreign to the feelings of the people, or with a technocratic mentality as the only pattern.
- It seeks to return to the sources, to highlight the continuity of a process that, from the double Hispanic and indigenous aspects and the incorporation after European and Latin American immigration, pays the identity and existence as a Nation.
- Rescuing what is most unique is also going to the living history of the people, to its immanent creativity, an essential factor of the national culture.
Training as a professional
- Accompanied by the above, scientific and/or technical-professional training, it will have fertile ground and a specific man -Argentinean- to settle on.
- Thus, the path of specialization must be illuminated by the clarity that emanates from the awareness of the unity of knowledge, reversing the current process of knowledge dispersion. It is about recovering the essence of the “University”, abandoning the path that leads to the “multiversity”.
- Scientific, technical and professional training must combine generalization with specialization, that is, it must know what the major problems are (at the individual, regional, national and global levels) and, in particular, must be able to develop research, teaching and technical application of their discipline, with a high level of knowledge of it. Scientists capable of developing their specialty must be trained, with a non-unilateral perspective.
- The specialist must have enough creativity to adapt the created model, outside its surrounding reality, to the regional and national modality.
One aspect of the latter, also a function of the University and its graduates, is the adaptation of technology to their own needs and circumstances.
From this comes the responsibility to criticize current conceptions in which technology is the engine of history and not an instrument integrated into the development of the community.
In the course of 1974, the Universidad del Salvador experienced the process that would culminate in its separation, a moment in its history when the Society of Jesus entrusted its leadership to the laity of the Civil Association. When the University, through the Council of Laity, expresses the intense need to preserve its identity, the Provincial RP presents the Document “History and change”, where the points on which the New University of Salvador must rely to be faithful are outlined. to itself, to rescue its “continuity in the Jesuit spirit: fight against atheism, advance by returning to the sources, universalism through differences”
Fight against atheism
Modern atheism is a subject loaded with meanings; One of them is of special interest for the construction of a different University: it deals with the consequences that the absence of a transcendent (religious) sense of life entails, in the understanding of historical and social phenomena. The modern world is a sort of triumphant display of the most diverse historical experiences. Both capitalism and Marxism have fully realized their meaning in great states and colossal empires.
The practical realization of the basic ideologies of the time takes necessary, as a counterpart, the determination of its limits, as a previous step to its overcoming. While the great ideologies were only more or less abstract and unrealized proposals, it was naively believed that it would be their own immanent dynamics that would set their limits. Transformed into reality, converted into a path traveled for decades, the situation is different. The immanent has not fulfilled its promises. Now a different vision is needed, although not always opposite, that transcends them. In short: a transcendent criterion, a religious attitude, is necessary to effectively judge history.
Only the transcendent allows us to recover the notion of the definitive leap towards liberation, and through this profoundly religious notion, to return to the qualitative and to the different. Without the transcendent, it is not man who pushes history, but the inert forces of technical progress. If he is absent, it is impossible to understand the end of an era and the possibility of a different civilization vanishes in a technocratic “progressive” infinity.
The crisis of modern atheism lies in its inability to globally judge the great adventures of contemporary man. His immanentism prevents him from totalizing them and going beyond the merely quantitative. He does not overcome the limits of the modern world because he does not find them, limiting himself to placing the future in the indefinite extension of historical experiences that he considers essentially unchangeable.
Faced with the atheist confinement, the need for a transcendent meaning of life resurfaces with all its force, approaching the greatest religious renaissance that man has known. These days there is no truly critical thought that does not have a transcendent dimension; he is the only one capable of critically innovating historical experiences that, driven by his immanence, have ended up in the purely quantitative.
The fight against atheism, in short, is not different from the transcendent criticism of the contemporary world.
In this task, the greatest contribution obtained by transcendent thought comes from its atheist antagonist.
Just as the future is elaborated from the present, the transcendent attitude that guides its construction also incorporates, through discernment, the elements of atheism that entail a valid critique of alienating manifestations and tricky religious civilizations.
The religious renaissance that the world awaits will return to its essentials, going through the inescapable critical sieve of modern atheism; In this way, he will achieve his greatest victory against the most fearsome of his adversaries, by incorporating into his bosom the best and most valid that he possesses.
The New University of El Salvador will act in this perspective: it will be a University founded on Faith, that is, critical and innovative.
This is a faithful people; a believing people. That is his strength.
That popular Faith has been -and is- despised by the enlightened arrogance that, in its blindness, has successively described it as credulity and alienation.
But the Faith of the people is deeper than its critics. And so he shows that his Christianity is not a theoretical, superficial and feeble formalism, but a concrete and daily practice of love and solidarity. For him, Jesus Christ is not only a God, but the One who left love among men.
And this, as the coldest skeptics know in the depths of their souls, is the only source of profound changes, the only sustenance of a revolution for justice and peace.
Advance by Returning to the Sources
The future is reached by deepening the path traveled. It is a process of going back to the origins, or rather, of affirming differences. It is not an attempt at external criticism of the experience carried out, but the assumption as one’s own of a journey of which one is part.
On the other hand, for this reason, it does not consist in the servile imitation of foreign models or in the abandonment of one’s own, but in the critical continuity of the popular movements of the national sign, essential protagonists of modern Argentina. Furthermore, the cultural resurgence of Latin America requires a return to the main lines of its Hispanic-indigenous tradition, as the foundation of revolutionary change towards a future in which it is recognized.
Exactly the same criterion should be applied to the construction of the New University of Salvador. For this reason, the spirit that must preside over it is the same with which the Society of Jesus has reconsidered its global apostolic mission.
Universalism across differences
From the beginning of its history, the Society of Jesus understands and respects the historical, cultural and psychological differences that confer its non-transferable seal on the peoples of the earth.
Pushed by the evangelical spirit of its founder, it affirms from the beginning the universalist content of its action. One is the truth of Christ, but its historical and human manifestations are multiple and non-transferable. Only in the diverse play of creation does the incarnate truth show itself.
It is not surprising that the Company faces the then nascent liberal-bourgeois claim to homogenize the historical and human reality of the world, through the joint action of state centralism and enlightened rationalism, to the detriment of the multifaceted wealth of creation.
Among the most important missionary experiences of the Church, are those that have been the work of the Society of Jesus. In China as in the Río de la Plata, the Company refuses to be the religious justification for European expansion, by offering the missionary peoples the organizational and social elements that allowed them the free development of their cultural individuality, integrating them into the universal through a Faith felt as one’s own. The Society is foundationally universalist; and therefore contrary to the homogenizing internationalisms that, by “reason” or by force, deny peoples the right to be themselves.
When at this point in his several-hundred-year-old career, he emphasizes the social apostolate, going to meet the agents of change -the peoples- he does nothing more than return to his original meaning, criticizing with unusual courage his historical deviations.
Having overcome the long historical retreat that began in the mid-eighteenth century, during which it had to accept, at least tacitly and partially, the rules of the game of its adversary, the profit society and individualism, the Company once again fully deploys its initial flags of community, faith and discipline, at the service of the peoples.
Conceiving the social apostolate as the religious immersion in the life of the people, the Company practically affirms that only from this concretion is the construction of a more humane society feasible, it is possible to “do Justice”. And it is there, in the towns -structured people par excellence- that the Church recognizes and reaffirms -and within the Society- its sense of discipline and its concept of organization.
Consistently, the XXXI General Congregation orients the apostolate of Education towards “… regional-type solutions given the great variety of circumstances of some countries with respect to others and the fact that education constitutes only a very small part of the educational set of each Nation”.
The Research Directorate, dependent on the Vice President for Research and Development, has the following objectives: to improve research support services; develop guidelines for continuous self-assessment of the research activities of the Institute, Centers and Areas of the University; implement follow-up programs and technical supervision of investigations; promote interdisciplinary work; propose incentives for researchers; manage a prospective planning area to establish proposals for the future; increase the possibilities of access to scientific information systems as support for research and teaching; coordinate efforts with other national and international institutions to carry out research programs and projects with and for the community.
- Faculty of Administration Sciences
- Faculty of EducationSciences and Social Communication
- Faculty of Economic Sciences
- Faculty of Legal Sciences
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Faculty of Philosophyand Letters
- Faculty of History, Geography and Tourism
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Psychologyand Psychopedagogy
- Faculty of Technology
- Agronomyand Food Technology Career
- School of Artand Architecture
- School of Oriental Studies
- Addiction Prevention Institute
- Distance Education Program
- Program “La Condamine”