Issue 2012

The Emotions and Affections of Jesus: An analysis of the Synoptic Gospels

In Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose, the blind monk Jorge of Burgos, quoting John Chrysostom, argues that “Christ never laughed.” Such a strong statement seems not only to categorically exclude the possibility that Jesus of Nazareth could laugh, but also questions his humanity, a humanity that implies an ability to participate in the totality of experience, including the possibility of experiencing the full range of affections and emotions. On the contrary, as the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes (GS) states, “the Son of God [...] worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted by human...

By: Vincenzo Anselmo, SJ

The Crisis of American Democracy

[embed]https://anchor.fm/civiltacattolica/episodes/The-Crisis-of-American-Democracy-enp9th/a-a44ccgf[/embed]   FR Michael Kelly, SJ interviews his colleague Drew Christiansen SJ about this article and developments in US domestic politics in the last few weeks The journalist Robin Wright, writing in The New Yorker (September 8, 2020, online), asks, “Is America a Myth?”, a myth that no longer holds the country together. Unlike other countries united by blood and soil, the United States, social scientists have told us, has been held together by a set of ideas — the self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence: that “all men are created equal” and that “they are endowed by their...

By: Drew Christiansen SJ

A Lucky Universe?

Our universe seems made for life; it has the right characteristics to make it possible, to let it prosper and evolve.[1] It hosts biological activity, perhaps with a certain waste of space, for today we can observe a total extension of about 92 billion light years, or about 9 x 1023 km (= 9 followed by 23 zeros, 900,000 billion km). Anyhow, life is present here. Even if life exists only on this small planet orbiting around a star at the edge of one of the 100 billion galaxies, even in all this “waste of space,” life is present. Is...

By: Paolo Beltrame, SJ

In remembrance of Fr. Giandomenico Mucci, SJ

Father Giandomenico Mucci, an emeritus writer of our magazine, died in Rome on November 23, 2020. He was born in Benevento on December 2, 1938, and having completed high school, went to university to study chemistry, before entering the Society of Jesus on September 4, 1958. After completing the usual training as a Jesuit, he was ordained priest in Naples on June 29, 1968. On July 2, 1975, he made his solemn profession in the Society. He obtained a doctorate in theology and taught, first at the Regional Seminary of Benevento, then at the Theological Faculty in Naples and, for...

By: La Civiltà Cattolica

The Power of Forgiveness: Colum McCann’s book ‘Apeirogon’

For decades now the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been in the news and on our minds. It is certainly not the most harrowing conflict that humanity has known since the end of the Second World War, nor is it the most deadly or atrocious. Nevertheless, countless pages of geopolitical reflection and narrative have been written about it. Meanwhile, it has evolved, year after year, as national identities, as well as narratives built around conflicts, keep changing over time. To underline only the most evident aspect of this conflict, the religious dimension was hardly present in either the first Zionist movement or...

By: Marc Rastoin, SJ

Let the Nuraghes be a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nuraghes S’Arena is a 2017 short film, conceived, written and directed by Mauro Aragoni. It stars the Italian rapper Salmo. To enjoy the ancient and wild environment of Sardinia and its nuraghes (ancient stone structures) this film is a fine place to start as it portrays the Nuragic civilization on the big screen for the first time. But this is only the latest work to be inspired by this extraordinary civilization. La Civiltà Cattolica’s interest in nuraghes dates back to 1886 when “Recent studies on nuraghes and their importance,” was published in several parts, then collected in a volume in...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

The White-Red Revolution of Belarus

In Belarus, a revolution has been underway for over three months. It is a peaceful, popular protest led by three courageous women linked to people who before the presidential elections were either imprisoned by the police or forced into exile. The “White-Red Revolution,” as it has been described, began immediately after President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, officially announced the results of the presidential elections of August 9, 2020. He claimed 80.23 percent of the popular vote, which has been described as an “indefensible exaggeration.” In any case, the election was preceded by a disastrous...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Dante and the Jesuits

In 1965, during the celebrations for the seventh centenary of Dante’s birth, our magazine published two articles aimed at dispelling a popular misconception among Italians about the attitude of the Jesuits toward the Divine Comedy.[1] This misconception arose thanks to a critique of the poem by a famous 18th-century Jesuit scholar and literary critic, Saverio Bettinelli. Since then there has been no lack of attention given to his unhappy critique and to those who were quick to repeat Bettinelli’s judgement. Thus, over the centuries, the opinion of one of its members has been attributed to the entire Society, as if...

By: Giandomenico Mucci, SJ
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