Published Date : 2021-10-15
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The “Axial Age” and the Invention of a Shared Future

By: Benoit Vermander, SJ

Even today the notion of the “Axial Age” (Achsenzeit) is the subject of heated debate.[1] Should we consider it a myth or an actual historical reality? As a first step, we should approach the concept as a tool for analysis rather than as a historical reality firmly anchored in time (such as a dynasty or the Industrial Revolution, for example). Karl Jaspers introduced the expression Axial Age in the aftermath of the Second World War.[2] The context explained both the...

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Afghanistan and the Limits of American Power

By: Drew Christiansen SJ

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the refusal of the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden, the United States of America invaded Afghanistan with the aim of putting an end to the Taliban regime and expelling al Qaeda from the territory. Within three months Kabul was conquered and a transition government, led by Hamid Karzai, was established. He then won the first presidential elections on October 9, 2004. Ashraf Ghani succeeded him. A considerable NATO contingent remained...

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The People’s Faith

By: Daniel Cuesta Gómez, SJ

Popular religiosity rarely leaves people indifferent. For some it is a great opportunity for the Church as well as a sign of her vitality, showing how the desire for God is present in our society. For others, on the contrary, it manifests the obvious decadence of a Church no longer able to transmit the profound truth of the Gospel, and so generating substitutes that distance people from the message of Jesus Christ, leading them to superstition, heterodoxy and superficiality. Be...

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Correcting the Genome with CRISPR: Ethical challenges

By: Andrea Vicini, SJ

The year 2020 was dominated by the Covid-19 global pandemic with its incredible cost in human lives and multiple economic, social and spiritual consequences. For those involved in genetic research, and particularly in the area of gene editing techniques, 2020 will be remembered also for the prestigious international recognition – the Nobel Prize – and the initial clinical successes of the genome editing technique called “CRISPR-Cas9.”[1] Any comment on these achievements needs to take into account some ethical considerations. In...

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Afghani Idealism and the Games of the Great Powers

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

July 4th –  United States Independence Day – could have become an important date in Afghan history as well. On the previous Friday night, July 2nd, the Americans abandoned Bagram airport without notifying their Afghan allies, leaving behind a pile of military equipment that they had intentionally destroyed. They also cut off the electricity supply, among other measures.[1] It had been known that the Americans would shortly withdraw and it became absolutely certain after President Biden’s speech on April 14,...

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“The Center of the Church? It’s not the Church!”: Pope Francis in Budapest and Slovakia

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

At 6:10 a.m. on September 12, 2021, a flight with the pope on board, together with, his entourage and 78 accredited journalists, took off from Fiumicino airport for Budapest, where it landed around 7:45 a.m. Thus began the 34th apostolic journey of Pope Francis. The reason for the stop in the Hungarian capital was the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, which took place on September 5-12. Originally planned for September 2020, the normal four years after the previous Congress in the...

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