Issue 2111

Spiritual Parents

The term “spiritual” is one of those words which, although it had a profoundly rich meaning in the early days of Christianity and in all the great epochs of the history of the Church, every now and then it becomes weakened  by more superficial meanings, or is transformed into a synonym of largely negative terms – such as “incorporeal, immaterial” – and becomes just one of many edifying words, a synonym of “religious” or “supernatural.”[1] For Origen, the spiritual person is a practical person, because the Spirit is acquired through action and the Spirit becomes manifest through actions. A spiritual...

By: Miguel Ángel Fiorito, SJ

Sociological and Political Aspects of Cryptocurrencies

A new appetite for cryptocurrencies arose last year, and it has not diminished during this course of 2021. Why? These currencies are more secure, being now better supervised by the public authorities, but they still scare political leaders who react by imposing  increasingly intrusive regulations. They are also looking to launch their own cryptocurrencies, the central bank digital currencies. The main technical aspects of these cryptocurrencies are easy to summarize. Their base is the blockchain, which is a technology for storing and transmitting digital data. It's probable industrial origins reduce the number of intermediaries who are responsible for verifying and...

By: Étienne Perrot, SJ

Iran, Russia and China: Is there a 'new Mongolian empire' on the horizon?

Thomas Flichy de La Neuville’s book Chine, Iran, Russie: un nouvel empire mongol? was published in 2013.[1] At the time the question was largely hypothetical. Today it appears to be a real possibility, particularly after China and Iran signed a treaty on April 27, 2021, firming the bilateral relations between these three Asian powers as they develop a triangular relationship. Underpinning it are both mutual interests and resistance against common adversaries. The sheer weight of all three countries – China, Iran, and Russia – makes it inevitable that the fate of Eurasia will be determined by such an alliance. This...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

What is the Synodal Journey? The thought of Pope Francis

“For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” is the title of a journey solemnly begun on October 9-10, 2021, in Rome, and then again on October 17 in each particular Church around the world. On March 7, 2020, the announcement had been made that Francis wanted to hold the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2022 on the theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” At the end of last May, Cardinal Mario Grech announced that the Assembly would be postponed by a year, to 2023, in part for public health reasons,...

By: Santiago Madrigal, SJ

Ecological Reflections on the Fukushima Wastewater Spillage

It has been 10 years since an unpredictable earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused an accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. On April 13, 2021, Japan decided to discharge “water still potentially radioactive from the Fukushima nuclear power plant” into the ocean,[1] as this would be “the best way to dispose of tritium and traces of other radionuclides in the water.”[2] The first test releases could begin within two years, and it will probably take decades to dispose of 1.25 million tons of wastewater (plus that which will accumulate in the meantime). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and...

By: Seil Oh, SJ


The Dictionary of Politics, edited by Bobbio, Matteucci and Pasquino, published in 1976, did not contain an entry on “citizenship.”[1] At the time it was a consequence of the existence of the state. It was only in the 1990s that scholars began to elaborate on the idea. In the interim, what had changed? The new political climate raised questions about the role of citizens and the very meaning of citizenship, highlighting the fact that citizenship is not an accidental, but an essential feature  of the democratic state. Attempts at definition highlight the complexity of the concept, oscillating as they do...

By: Domenico Pizzuti, SJ
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