Issue 2006

A Time of Leprosy: Contagion and healing in the Bible

Falling into impurity Leprosy, like all diseases, marks the partial fall of a sick person into the sphere of impurity. The “impure” is the most elementary form of what Israel perceives as abominable to the Lord, because it contradicts life. While it awaits with hope that God’s “holiness” will finally come to encompass all profane impurity in the glory of God’s presence, Israel fears the threatening pressure of a deep evil that invades the world and penetrates even the innermost corners of material creation. Physical evil, sin and impurity are therefore terms that are often interchangeable, as they allude to...

By: Pino Stancari, SJ

Popular Theology and Communication

Lynn Schofield Clark’s study, From Angels to Aliens, explores how teens seek and explore spiritual and religious identities, often drawing on narratives, images and characters from popular culture, i.e. those artistic expressions of various kinds that have had mass diffusion since the second half of the 20th century.[1] The teenage years, perhaps more than other moments in our lives, mark a time of exploration of identity and a time of finding oneself within peer groups. Clark noted how teens drew on popular culture to find religious meaning independently of their levels of religious sophistication, with similar processes of exploration in...

By: Paul A. Soukup, SJ

China’s Great Catholic Educator, Ma Xiangbo and The Jesuits

The context Ma Xiangbo was born on April 17, 1840, into a wealthy Catholic family in Dantu County, Jiangsu Province. He was baptized when he was one month old and grew up in a strict tradition of the Catholic faith. He was also educated in the Chinese classics in traditional private schools. At the age of 12, Ma visited his married sister in Shanghai and was amazed at the level of development of the city. He asked to stay in Shanghai to enroll at the French Jesuit Institute, the Collège Saint Ignace (Xuhui Gongxue, Xuhui College), recently founded in the...

By: You Guo Jiang, SJ

The Global Economic Crisis

Since last December, a new coronavirus, Covid-19, has been putting our lives at risk. At the same time, it has paralyzed most of our productive systems, whose survival is now under threat. This unprecedented health emergency has triggered a very serious economic crisis, the depth of which will be determined by the duration of the pandemic. A deep and rapid recession Given the non-negotiable priority of human life, it is undeniable that defeating the pandemic comes first. The challenge we all share is to prevent the collapse of the healthcare system, but it is also true that we are suffering...

By: Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi SJ

Is the Virus a Punishment from God?

“'When evening had come' (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm.”[1] The empty square and...

By: David Neuhaus, SJ

Revisiting the Common Good in the Digital Age

The Fourth Industrial Revolution in Full Flow In this epochal change that we characterize as the “digital revolution,” not only digital technologies but also physical and biological technologies all converge. This contributes to a cultural transformation of enormous moment. Our ways of life, work and relationships are changing. The processes underway – let alone their dizzying speed – are probably without parallel in those of other eras. Not that there were fewer problems before, but there were more certainties and interpretative narratives on a global level that today have given way to uncertainty and perplexity. Insecurity and an awareness of...

By: Julio L. Martínez, SJ

From Distraction to Dedication: An Invitation to the Center

Note: Some years ago, during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, Father General Adolfo Nicolás sketched points for a possible letter to the Society. Although he never wrote the letter, he did share these points with a few friends. The following text, while still rough and informal, expresses clearly the direction of his thinking. With the permission of Father Nicolás, we share it now. For some time we religious have wondered about our life in the Church and the power and attraction of our witness. One does not need extraordinary insight or deep analysis to realize that what we call...

By: Adolfo Nicolás, SJ

The Option for the ‘Logos’ in the Pontificate of Francis

Introduction Addressing the members of the European Parliament on November 25, 2014, Pope Francis used an image suggested by the famous frescoes painted by Raphael in one of the Stanze di Raffaello in the Vatican. The School of Athens consists of a meeting between several pagan philosophers, from Greek antiquity until the time of the highpoint of Muslim scholarship, indicated by the presence of Averroes. The pope stated that Plato, with his finger pointing toward the sky, and Aristotle, with his hand pointing toward the earth, “constitute an image that well describes Europe and its history, formed by the continuous...

By: Andreas Lind, SJ
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