The "Patrimoine de l'Institut International des Sciences Théoriques" (PIIST – Patrimony of the International Institute of Theoretical Sciences) is the present official title of the body which ensures the administrative and financial support of the two Academies. It has the status in Belgian law of a Non-profit making organization (Association sans but lucratif or asbl).
Historically, this was the body created in 1944 by Father Stanislas Dockx, a Belgian Dominican, with a view to creating two groups. One was a section for secular sciences (Classe des sciences profanes); this held its first symposium in 1947 at the Palais des Académies , Brussels, and from it derived the present-day Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences, or International Academy for the Philosophy of the Sciences. The other group was a section for sacred sciences (Classe des Sciences sacreés), which came into existence only in 1964, after the Second Vatican Council, with a first symposium in the ancient Dominican house at Constance; from this derived the present-day Académie Internationale des Sciences Religieuses, or International Academy for Religious Sciences. Father Dockx was himself a scientist, both physicist and mathematician, and a theologian. He was very concerned for synthesis, for getting to essential questions, in a spirit of research both free and exact, research in which results are shared with a view to a critical and intellectually fruitful outcome, transcending all divisions, in an environment favourable to personal and friendly contact between those involved in the study. The same spirit animates both Academies. Furthermore, a joint colloquium is regularly held in order to realize the determination to maintain a dialogue between the fields of science and religion, commonly seen as mutually antagonistic.
The designation “o.p” (ordo praedicatorum, the official title of the Dominican order) is indeed attached to the Founder, but also indicates the fact that the spirit intended by the Founder continues to be voluntarily adopted by other Dominicans, without committing the Order, but quite independently.
The funding was ensured originally by an important legacy of the Dockx family. The association gets no public or institutional subsidy. It is meanwhile open to gifts and legacies from private persons concerned to forward the spirit of the association. A single Secretariat ensures the administrative and logistical support of the colloquia of the two Academies and their publications. Its address is: rue Marie de Bourgone 8, B-1050 BRUXELLES, Belgium (telephone +32 (0)2 512 15 49); for e-mail, click on “Contact”) .
The present members of the Administrative Council are: Guido Vergouwen o.p., former Rector of the University of Fribourg Suisse, President. Claude Selis o.p., biblical and oriental scholar, financial delegate. Philippe Malherbe, barrister at law, Secretary. Christian Cannuyer, Professor in the Faculty of Theology, Lille, Administrator. Thomas Eggensperger o.p., Professor of Theology and President of the Chenu Institute, Berlin. Administrator.
The present members of the General Assembly include among others: Joseph Famerée, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. Vassilis Saroglou, Professor of the Psychology of Religion at the catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve. Emilio Platti o.p., Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies at the Royal University of Leuven and the Catholic Institute of Paris.
Please see below the full text of the present Statutes (since 2004) of the Association.