Issue 1910

The Web of Gambling

The expression “hazard a bet” is a term used by gamblers that derives from the Arabic word al-zahr (“dice”). These instruments of fortune exemplify the desire to enrich oneself without making sacrifices. The first public places for organized gambling in the Middle Ages sprang up in secluded locations, far from squares and churches, managed by so-called “dealers.”[1] The locales of these particular games have always been thought of as webs woven by powerful “spiders” to trap their prey. In The Gambler, Dostoevsky describes Alexey’s human drama after playing: “The player is a victim regardless of his social class, a victim...

By: Francesco Occhetta, SJ

Cybersex Educational Strategies

Prevention is key to combating cybersex. The clear need to encourage young people to exchange views and dialogue on the issue can be met to some extent through schools. There, educators are called upon to develop effective education programs for growth in managing affections and proper use of the internet, to reflect on its potential impact, using, for example, news stories to raise discussion in classrooms. When educators act on the issue with the collaboration of parents, it is noticeable that young people are more readily aware of what is at stake and the possible consequences of their choices. The...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Kazakhstan's post-Independence Fault Lines

Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia (2,724,900 square kilometers) and the second most populous, with about 18 million inhabitants.[1] It bridges Europe and Asia, not only because of its geographical position, but also by reason of its ethnic composition. In addition to hosting various ethnic groups of Central Asian origin (such as the Uzbeks), it is home to elements of European populations, such as Germans and Poles, as well as Ukrainians and Russians. Shortly before and during the Second World War, 102,000 Poles were resettled there from the western territories of the Soviet Union and 306,000 Germans from...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Brothers and Sisters, Children of the One Father

The Document on Human Brotherhood, signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019, is an important text for all, especially for Christians. It is also an invitation to consider the subject through the Bible, where there are many passages that develop the idea of brotherhood. In the New Testament, Luke in particular looks in depth at the theme of brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. The theme stands out in various episodes that appear only in his Gospel. Brothers and sisters in comparison One way to examine the theme is...

By: Saverio Corradino, SJ

Francis Xavier, a Missionary Beyond the Borders

In a homily delivered in Manila on November 29, 1970, Saint Paul VI stated: “I would never have come from Rome to this far-distant land unless I had been most firmly convinced of two fundamental things: first, of Christ; and second, of your salvation.” He added: “The more distant the goal, the more difficult my mission, the more pressing is the love that urges me to it.”[1] Saint Francis Xavier could have said the same words. For him, too, the motives were Christ and the salvation of the people. Thus he was not afraid to consider the most distant and...

By: Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, SJ

Secular States and Monotheistic Religions

According to Max Weber the formation of modern legal systems must be read in parallel with the process of secularization of the modern state and of civil and political society, which has separated the religious sphere from the secular, formulating new ethical and political principles to regulate the organization of the state and the coexistence of people, thus erasing from state law the original sacred elements inherited from ancient traditions.[1] This approach to the subject of the foundation of modern legal systems is strongly marked by a Eurocentric perspective and cannot be used to interpret situations existing in other parts...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

‘The Girl with the Leica’ by Helena Janeczek

After reading Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains) by Paolo Cognetti, 2017 Strega Prize winner and following on the study of his novel by Matteo Nucci,[1], it was impossible to ignore Helena Janeczek, popular winner of the Strega in 2018. The Girl with the Leica[2] presents the lives of Gerda Taro and her friends in the historical contexts of the last 80 years, which is in part the history of less youthful readers. It is a demanding read but the fruit of a narrative ability that makes space for all the suggestions and insights of her research, memory and fantasy....

By: Giovanni Arledler, SJ

Pope Francis and Fraternity

In the vision of Pope Francis, fraternity – being brothers and sisters – has a transcendental value and a programmatic character. If you “pass by,” taking it for granted, or if you use the term lightly, almost as if saying “brothers and sisters” were enough to avoid the temptations of indifference, bureaucracy or authoritarianism, it means that fraternity’s wealth and ability to generate positive dynamics have not yet matured sufficiently. I deliberately use the evangelical expression of the parable of the Good Samaritan “to pass by,” because, if the excuses of the priest and the Levite for not aiding the...

By: Diego Fares SJ
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