Published Date : 2019-05-15
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Social Capital: An indispensable resource for quality of life

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

A human being’s ability to react to negative events is remarkable. As research shows, the consequences of a trauma depend largely on how individuals interpret the occurrence, their core values, and above all whether they face it alone or have someone close by who can help. The ancients taught that a human being is by nature a political animal; and a sense of community is one of our main forms of protection because “communities that possess a strong system of...

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Citizens and the Making of Europe

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Reflecting on the future of our continent, some politicians, parties and movements seem to put into doubt not only the European Union as we know it, but even the very existence of the process of building Europe. How should we orient ourselves before these tensions, the fruit of the lack of trust and nationalist sentiment? Let us take a step back, to Compiègne, where in 1918 an armistice was signed, silencing the guns and bringing an end to a destructive...

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The New Silk Road in Central Asia

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Seven years ago, when living in Southern Kyrgyzstan, I met a German tourist who had tried to cycle south through the mountains from the capital city, Bishkek. He had taken the Eastern road leading from Issyk Kul to Jalalabad. The road was marked on the map, but it was actually a secondary track paved in stone, which had cost him several tires and a great deal of anger. That was 2011. Today, that track has been replaced by an eight-lane...

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Taoism and Ecology

By: You Guo Jiang, SJ

As the ancient Chinese philosophers Laozi and Zhuangzi advocated more than 2,500 years ago, humanity must work to live in harmony with nature to keep the planet green, clean and safe. The call to keep global development balanced while protecting the environment was made a long time ago. Laozi and Zhuangzi are considered the two most important figures in Taoism, and their teachings and writings have largely influenced environmental and ecological development in China as well as other regions. In...

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If Faith is Weak, then so is Doubt

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

A few years ago, Conrad Hackett, head of the team that published the Pew Research Center’s report on the spread of different religions, made this statement to the Wall Street Journal: “Between 2015 and 2020, Christians are projected to experience the largest losses due to switching. Globally, about 5 million people are expected to become Christians in this five-year period, while 13 million are expected to leave Christianity, with most of these departures joining the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.”...

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Peaceful Uses of Solar System Resources

By: Guy Consolmagno, SJ

In June 2018, the Holy See participated at the United Nations UNISPACE+50 Conference in Vienna, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first such UN conference on the peaceful uses of outer space. Leading up to that meeting, in March 2018 the Vatican Observatory had helped organize a workshop at our headquarters in the papal summer gardens outside of Rome to discuss the broader issues of the peaceful uses of space and space technology. The seminar was attended by 30 participants...

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