Issue 1810

Kakichi Kadowaki: The inculturation of Christianity in Japan

The inculturation of Christianity in Japan has not been an easy process. Its history is full of encounters and contrasts, conflicts and compromises. Among the reasons for this difficult history is the complexity and uniqueness of Japanese culture. If Shintoism is Japan’s traditional religion and the one with the most adherents, Buddhism has taken root and developed in several schools that have permeated arts, architecture, literature and culture in general. One of its branches is Zen Buddhism, divided into three schools: Rinzai, Sōtō and Obaku. This is the context the first Christian missionaries found when they arrived in Japan. Their...

By: Tomás García-Huidobro, SJ

Is Stalinism Alive in Russia?

Is the Russian secret service the proud heir of the Cheka? On February 25, 1956, in a closed door meeting of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR, after much hesitation and argument with the head of the party, Nikita Khrushchev gave his famous speech “on Stalin’s personality cult and its consequences,” thereby initiating the process of de-stalinization in the Soviet Union. This represents one of the greatest political successes of the 20th century if one thinks of the extreme violence, the total lack of rights, and the uncertainty that reigned under Stalin. The speech was supposed...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Jesuit Journals and the First World War: On nationalism and dialogue

In Lourdes, in July 1914, German and French Catholics, each in their own language, peacefully prayed together. “Two weeks later, the war in Europe broke out, and the pilgrims of Lourdes, having gone home, clashed against one another, under the shadow of their own flags. Those who yesterday greeted each other as brothers and sisters, now were fighting as enemies.”[1] For the Catholics on each front, the outbreak of the First World War was not seen as the latest consequence of a decades-old rupture; rather, it was felt as the painful destruction of an international solidarity. And Fr. Jules Lebreton,...

By: Klaus Schatz, SJ

The Cracks in Secularization

One speaks today of two sociological categories, of which the second, desecularization, indicates the overcoming of the first, secularization. The theory of secularization appeared at the beginning of the 1900s on the basis of the thought of Auguste Comte, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, and has dominated the analysis of religion in the Western world. It is founded on the thesis that the processes of modernization and development of the experimental sciences and technology inevitably bring about the rise of atheistic or religiously neutral societies. Beginning in the 1990s, Peter Ludwig Berger, followed by many other sociologists, philosophers of religion,...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

The Bible in Evangelization Today

“The sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelization” is the statement Pope Francis uses in Evangelii Gaudium (EG) to conclude the section dedicated to the proclamation of the Word.[1] It is a page that is simple and at the same time complex. Simple, because there can be no true evangelization without the Scriptures; complex, because it is necessary to explain why the Church has “lost” the Bible during its history. The pope states: “Not only the homily has to be nourished by the Word of God. All evangelization is based on that Word, listened to and celebrated and witnessed...

By: Saverio Corradino, SJ

Work and the Dignity of Workers: An interview with Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson

Work is a central theme in the pontificate of Francis. In Evangelii Gaudium (EG), he uses four words to describe it: “free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive” (EG 192). This is a foundational, programmatic statement that Bergoglio had already made in Buenos Aires in June 2003, commenting on the encyclical on work by St. John Paul II, Laborem Exercens (September 14, 1981). To explore the theme of work in a universal perspective we spoke to Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. His experience and his role within the Church are...

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

The Seven Pillars of Education according to J. M. Bergoglio

The challenge associated with education has always been close to the heart of the current pontiff. As he himself revealed in our 2016 interview, he was involved in youth pastoral ministry and education when he was a parish priest in San Miguel. On a daily basis he hosted the local children in the very large spaces of the attached college: “I used to say Mass for the children and on Saturdays I taught catechism.”[1] Among his activities he also organized shows and games, which he describes in detail in the interview. This is where his spontaneous ability to be with...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

A Tale of Love and Darkness

Between April 20 and 22, 2018, the news broke that the Genesis, a sort of Israeli Nobel Prize, was being awarded to the actress Natalie Portman. Her swift response came through an official spokesperson: she felt it was necessary to refuse the prize since “the recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her,” an unmistakable reference to the violent and bloody episodes in the Gaza Strip. There were no other developments and it all finished there. To those who follow more attentively political and cultural matters in the state of Israel, this minor incident nevertheless brought to mind...

By: Giovanni Arledler, SJ
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