Issue 1908

The Attacks in Sri Lanka and the New Strategy of Islamic State

On Easter morning, April 21, 2019, six almost simultaneous explosions in three major Sri Lankan cities – Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa – killed 253 people (including 30 foreigners) and injured almost 500. The eight suicide bombers hit three Christian churches where Easter celebrations were taking place,[1] and three luxury hotels (the Shangri-La Hotel, the Kingsbury Hotel and the Cinnamon Grand Hotel) in Colombo, which is the economic capital of the country. The purpose of the operations was to attack the Christian community of Sri Lanka as well as visiting Western tourists, who are considered enemies of Islam and therefore legitimate...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Amazonian Indigenous Spirituality and Care for the ‘Common Home’

Definition of terms In the dialogue between spiritual theology and anthropology the term “spirituality” is identified in the attitude of the human person in facing the finitude and radicality of human existence, referring to certain deep and vital values that lead us to think, feel and act.[1] In this respect, spirituality becomes an area that contains everything associated not only with religion or transcendence, but also with the desire for well-being, which can be described as a way of addressing anthropological issues and concerns in order to arrive at an ever richer and more authentic human life. In its broadest...

By: Adelson Araújo dos Santos, SJ

Cybersex: An insidious addiction

Specific characteristics of cybersex The internet, while it offers enormous possibilities on many levels – information, data, speed of contact, time saved and relationships improved – also renews long-established problems of the offline world (solitude, pornography, violence, theft, viruses) but on a qualitatively different scale. Like any new development, digital technology cannot solve a problem without creating new ones. What is addiction?[1] It speaks of the essential need of every person for “something else” to live for, recognizing that alone we are not sufficient. An addiction can be health if it helps personal development: think of food, water and sleep...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

What Young People Think of Their Future

The results of an international sociological research project were recently presented in Rome. It looked to explore what young people think about their own personal futures and how they view the outlook for their families and for the local and national communities in the countries where they live. The survey was based on a large sample of young people aged between 18 and 30 years in the period between March and July 2018 and involved young people from four European countries: Italy, Germany, Poland and Russia. As far as Italy is concerned, the reference institute was Eurispes (Institute for Economic,...

By: GianPaolo Salvini, SJ

‘Finding a Meaning in the Adventure of Life’: A Nostalgia for Values

The secular world is a culture whose hypercriticism, especially with regard to the Church, reveals its nostalgia for something great and pure that is indissolubly linked to the heart of the human person. This is a consideration recently developed by Cardinal Archbishop Christoph Schönborn of Vienna further to some reflections by Benedict XVI.[1] For Christians, the observation is not new. But it remains true even in these secular times. It refers not only to nostalgia for what the Church teaches, which often seems to have fallen into a state of neglect, but also to all that is needed so people...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

The West and Russia: A comparison of their cultural roots

After the end of the Soviet Union, both the pro-Western Russian elite and the vast majority of the population had the hope of becoming part of the Western community, or rather, of becoming once again part of Europe after having travelled a different path since the October Revolution. It was thought that Russia would naturally follow this route. But after all the political toing-and-froing of the 1990s, it became clear during Putin’s second term that this course was not to be taken for granted. Europe did not want Russia. Nor did Russia want to bind itself to modern Europe and...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Frans van der Lugt: Bridge Builder and Martyr

Introduction Fr. Frans van der Lugt was killed in Homs five years ago. Since then, every day, Christians and Muslims have visited the garden of the Jesuit residence to pray at his tomb. Fr. Frans – in Arabic Abuna Francis – was a Jesuit priest originally from the Netherlands. He died in Homs, Syria, on April 7, 2014, a few days before his 76th birthday. Pope Francis, the United Nations and the Dutch Government were among those who sent messages of condolence. A few months earlier television images had been broadcast all over the world of Fr. Frans pleading for...

By: Jan Stuyt, SJ

Michel de Certeau and Theology: Finding God and seeking God again

The Jesuit Michel de Certeau (1925-86) is known for his work as an historian of mysticism, particularly on Peter Faber and Jean-Joseph Surin,[1] two Jesuits almost a century apart. Faber had very early entered the circle of the companions of Ignatius of Loyola in Paris, and for some years he had been the only priest of that group; he was always traveling in Europe, especially from Protestant Germany to the court of the King of Portugal, and back. Surin had also been itinerant, witnessing paranormal phenomena. He lost the ability to speak or understand spoken or written language, but in...

By: Paul Gilbert, SJ
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