Issue 2011

‘All is Grace’: Saint Francis and the weight of the world

When thinking of the Middle Ages, many will hold that the essence of asceticism was rejection of the world and complete condemnation of life lived in the world. This judgment is sometimes found in history books, but it is not entirely true. Suffice it to look at the few remaining letters of St. Francis of Assisi. One in particular, written to a friar who asked to be relieved of his office, can help understand how deeply rooted Francis was in the world and in history. It was probably written between 1221 and 1223,[1] four years before his death, but it...

By: Giancarlo Pani SJ

In Memory of Fr. Bartolomeo Sorge

Fr. Bartolomeo Sorge – a former director of our magazine – died in Gallarate on the morning of November 2, 2020, having turned 91 a few days earlier. Born on October 25, 1929, on the Island of Elba (Rio Marina), where his father was on military duty, he always proudly remembered his Sicilian roots on his father’s side and Venetian ones on his mother’s. At the age of 17 he entered the novitiate of the then Venetian-Milanese Province of the Society of Jesus at Lonigo and completed with aplomb the various spiritual and cultural stages of a Jesuit formation. After...

By: La Civiltà Cattolica

Rebuild the Global Educational Pact

A project born from afar In his Message for the Launch of the Educational Pact, dated September 12, 2019, Pope Francis invited all those working in the field of education at different levels (academic, institutional, pastoral and social) to Rome on May 14, 2020, to work together to develop a global educational pact. The event was then postponed due to Covid-19. The pandemic has made the Holy Father’s appeal even more pressing; it is necessary to unite efforts for the common home, for education to be a creator of fraternity, peace and justice. For this reason, on October 15, 2020,...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Israel and the Gulf: Is this peace or simply prosperity?

A United Arab Emirates official in long flowing robes, white headdress firmly in place and face covered with a Covid-19 mask, rubbed elbows with the Israeli National Security Advisor, dressed in a smart suit, his head covered with a large Jewish skullcap and his features also obscured by a Covid mask. The scene took place on September 1, 2020, as the first official Israeli delegation visiting Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, flew home on a direct flight to Tel Aviv. This scene symbolized what had been set in motion following the announcement on August 13, 2020, by...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

The Guardian of the Species: Genesis 1:28 and Covid-19

Tyger Tyger burning bright / In the forests of the night... / Did he who made the Lamb make thee? William Blake, Songs of Experience, 1794 The Covid-19 pandemic and other recent outbreaks of infectious diseases of animal origin have shed a new light on one of the most famous passages of Genesis, the story of the creation and the relationship between human beings and the animal world. In Gen 1:26, in an inner monologue, God shows his intention to create humans, male and female, “in our image, according to our likeness,” and this – he specifies it from the...

By: Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ

Tajikistan, a Land on the Edge

When it was announced in April 2020 that the German authorities had arrested four Tajik citizens who were planning an attack on an American military base in Germany,[1] many wondered: “Where did these people come from? What country is this? Is it yet another hotbed of Islamic terrorism?” These are not the questions we will seek to answer. Instead, we will attempt to understand why a country deep in the heart of Central Asia is only known for its Islamic fundamentalists. This concern is legitimate in light of the murder in July 2018 of tourists from the United States, Switzerland...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Nicolas Kluiters: A martyr for faith, justice and peace

He was cruelly killed on March 14, 1985, but his memory continues to be alive and a blessing to the people of the Northern Beqaa Valley, where he carried out his pastoral service and committed himself to social and economic improvement, giving all his strength for 10 years and finally, also his blood. At a time when the people of the Middle East continue to be terribly affected by conflicts and Christians are being driven to abandon their lands, it is right that the Society of Jesus should promote the cause of beatification of Fr. Nicolas Kluiters “on the grounds...

By: Federico Lombardi, SJ

The Emergence of Religion in Human Evolution

The last 20 years have seen significant progress in the fields of bioscience and neuroscience. Particularly interesting is the question of when and how “religious capacity” evolved in hominids, and how it should be understood from the biological point of view. A new volume, The Emergence of Religion in Human Evolution, tries to give an initial answer to this question.[1] The study was born from the collaboration between Margaret Boone Rappaport, an American biologist and cultural anthropologist specializing in human cognitive evolution, and Christopher J. Corbally, a British astronomer and Jesuit priest, member of the research group of the Specola...

By: Johan Verschueren, SJ
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