Issue 2102

‘From Generation to Generation’: History in perspective from the Bible to Pope Francis

Sit with me at one table / The same for ancestor and grandson / The future is being accomplished now [….] And even now, in these coming times / I stand up in the stirrups like a child. (Arseny Tarkovsky, “Life Life”) Biblical faith is based on experience of God in history, although biblical Hebrew, paradoxically, does not have a word to designate “history,” the course of events that is progressively studied and written down. The language of the Bible has two words that allow its readers to think of history from its innermost dynamism: tôledôt, “generations,” and dôr, “generation.”...

By: Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ

Fragile: A new imagery of progress

Imagination, the engine of history Imagination is a theme that, in the course of recent decades, has become more and more the object of discussion, not only in literary and artistic terms, but also in historiographic, scientific and interpretative ones, since it is considered as the true driving force of the journey of humanity. This is the theme addressed in a powerful new book by Francesco Monico.[1] The author picks up on Jonathan Gottschall’s research on storytelling, in which the human being is conceived of as homo fictus, constructed by imagination, a mode of thought quite different from programming and...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

The Strength of Being Authentic: Reflections on culture and faith

The best description of today’s cultural reality is through “authenticity,” so says Charles Taylor, one of the most important contemporary Catholic intellectuals.[1] There exists a true “culture of authenticity.” By this term the philosopher means the search for personal self-fulfillment supported by the subjective principle of being faithful to what one sincerely feels. Behind this quest stands the moral ideal of “being true to oneself.” This ideal, Taylor asserts, is not to be defined according to what we desire or need, but offers an outline of what we should desire.[2] As a consequence of this, it can be said that...

By: Eugenio Rivas, SJ

The Spiritual Memoirs of Peter Faber, SJ

We present a classic of the spirituality of the Society of Jesus: Peter Faber’s Spiritual Memoirs, commonly known as his Memoriale, or, to give it its full title, The Memoir of some good desires and good thoughts of Father Master Peter Faber.[1] The external man At the time of origin of the Society of Jesus, Peter Faber was the first “companion” of St. Ignatius of Loyola (i.e., the first who was called to the idea and convinced by it) and the first priest of this mainly priestly Order.[2] He was born in 1506 and died in 1546. He began his...

By: Miguel Ángel Fiorito, SJ

Between Loneliness and Company: Bruce Springsteen's 'Letter to You'

After the one-man theater tour Springsteen on Broadway (2018) and the studio album Western Stars (2019), Bruce Springsteen returned to the studio to record a musical work that is as complex as it is immediate, called Letter to You (2020). Observing the genesis of this album, we can see how it is full of strong dynamic tensions with elements that could be considered in tension or contradictory. In fact, in the era of large productions and myriad technological possibilities, in which sounds are processed, corrected and recreated, Springsteen has opted for a more instinctive solution. He recorded in the studio...

By: Claudio Zonta SJ

The Musical Journey of Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall is one of the most important contemporary viola da gamba players, a conductor and musicologist. Above all he is an itinerant musician, philologist and complete artist. His journeys furrow the paths of history, rediscovering obscure scores and forgotten musical instruments to let ancient sounds re-emerge from the past causing that fascination only great art can inspire. Like many of his colleagues, Savall began his musical studies when he was very young. By the age of six he was singing in the choir of his town of Igualada (Barcelona), and soon after he commenced studying the cello at the...

By: Luigi Territo, SJ

Internet and Democracy: Trump’s case and the consequences 

On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States of America and began moving into the White House. The transition of power from his predecessor was anything but easy. On January 6, supporters of Donald Trump had stormed Capitol Hill after he had incited his backers, especially his 88 million followers on Twitter, to take back victory, which he said had been “stolen.” Shortly after, on January 8, Twitter’s board of directors decided to block the outgoing president’s account “due to the risk of further incitement to violence.” Facebook, Instagram, Twitch...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ

Beyond the Apocalypse: Starting again from Baghdad

Accepting the invitation from Baghdad and the local Catholic Church, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Iraq from March 5 to 8, 2021, visiting Baghdad, on the plain of Ur, which is linked to the memory of Abraham, the city of Erbil, as well as Mosul and Qaraqosh on the plain of Nineveh. Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, announced this much-desired trip by Francis on December 7. He added that the program of the trip “will take into account the evolution of the global health emergency.” Not forgetting the Covid-19 pandemic, indeed fully aware...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ
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