Published Date : 2023-12-14
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‘It’s a good thing there’s birds’: ‘The Swimmers’ by Julie Otsuka

By: Diego Mattei, SJ

“The pool is located deep underground, in a large cavernous chamber many feet beneath the streets of our town.” So begins The Swimmers (2022), Julie Otsuka’s latest work of fiction.[1] This is the third novel of the Japanese-born American writer, after When the Emperor was Divine (2002)[2] and The Buddha in the Attic (2011),[3] for which she received the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction in 2012. This time Otsuka recounts the course of her mother’s progressive memory loss, retrieving the previously...

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‘Laudate Deum’ – Ecology in the Light of the Gospel

By: Andreas Gonçalves Lind, SJ

On October 4, 2023, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the pope issued an apostolic exhortation devoted to the climate crisis. The document’s title comes from its opening two words in Latin, a quotation from il poverello: “Laudate Deum for all his creatures.”[1] The saint, who seems to have had difficulty writing a rule to guide religious life, liked to sing with words and gestures to express the joy of living together with other creatures, his sisters. Hence the...

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When Will There be Real Peace in Sudan?

By: Jean-Pierre Bodjoko, SJ

Sudan seemed to have found the path to peace after the fall of former President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir in 2019. But the country is struggling to recover and regain a measure of peace. While there is a truce in neighboring South Sudan, in Sudan itself the military and a group of their former militia allies have driven the country into instability, with thousands of collateral casualties. Apart from the situation in Darfur, the military does not want Sudan to...

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The Seed of a Church of ‘Every Tribe, Tongue, People and Nation’

By: Giacomo Costa, SJ

“In many ways it has been an unprecedented experience”: this is how the Letter to the People of God[1] described the First Session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 4-29, 2023) a few days before its conclusion. In the same vein were many testimonies that subsequently appeared in both Church and secular media all over the world. Participants were struck by what they experienced, by an encounter made possible by working in small groups,...

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Dogmatic Developments in Interreligious Dialogue

By: Mario Imperatori, SJ

From the Council to postmodern globalization The declaration Nostra Aetate (1965) placed dialogue at the center of the Catholic Church’s relations with other religions, developing the indications given in St. Paul VI’s encyclical Ecclesiam Suam (1964) about the dialogue of salvation and the teaching of the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium (1964) on the Church. The current phenomenon of globalization instead focuses attention on religious pluralism and the challenge of fundamentalism, and not only Islamic fundamentalism. This is occurring in a...

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BRICS Plus: An alternative to the current world order?

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

It all began in November 2001 when Jim O’Neill of the investment bank Goldman Sachs published the paper “Building Better Global Economic BRICs.”[1] He predicted an increase in the influence on global GDP of the then BRIC states (an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially China, thus emphasizing the need for a global reorganization of the economy and politics. O’Neill added that by 2031 the BRIC states would catch up with, or even surpass, the economic output of...

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