Issue 2104

Perhaps God Does Play Dice

In an address to a group of scientists who were then dealing with the “new physics,” Albert Einstein[1] said: “The quantum problem is so extraordinarily important and difficult that we should all give it our undivided attention.”[2] Quantum mechanics is currently the most complete physics theory to describe matter, radiation and mutual interactions, especially in conditions where the previous so-called “classical” theories[3] are inadequate, that is in the phenomena of atomic and subatomic particles or energy. Einstein’s view is valid for everyone, because quantum physics, besides having a great technological – and consequently social – impact, has very important implications...

By: Paolo Beltrame, SJ

A New Turkish Empire in the East from the Bosphorus to China

Will there be a union of all Turkic peoples? For the first time in the 100-year history of the Turkish Republic, restoration of past greatness has become the policy of the Turkish government.[1] The failure of integration with Europe makes the idea of a new “empire” very attractive. Alongside the neo-Ottoman idea that focuses on the Arab countries of the Mediterranean and on the Balkans, a union of all the Turkic peoples based on ethnic ties, extending from the Bosphorus to China, has become a real possibility. The transformation of relations between Turkey and Turkic populations in Central Asia and...

By: Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

‘Soul,’ The imaginative ‘big before’ of our lives

The movie Soul comes from Pixar Animation Studios (a subsidiary of Walt Disney Pictures) and was directed by Pete Docter[1] and Kemp Powers. “The film was set to be theatrically released in November 2020, but due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic it was released to stream on Disney+ on December 25, 2020.”[2]  It had made its Italian debut on October 15, as the opening film of the 15th Rome Film Festival. Jazz as a character Let us start as the movie suggests by immersing ourselves in its music as in an ocean. The opening credits do not begin with the...

By: Diego Fares SJ

The Ministry of Women in the Liturgy: ‘Sound Tradition’ and ‘Legitimate Progress’

On the occasion of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis promulgated a document by which he recognized the possibility for women to exercise the instituted ministries of lector and acolyte. It is well known that earlier legislation, established by Paul VI with a similar measure, reserved these ministries to male laity. In order to grasp the importance of these two documents, on which we will dwell later, let us first take a look at the prehistory and evolution of a service that the Church has always provided for the Word of God and the table of...

By: Cesare Giraudo, SJ

Interpreting Reality

This previously unpublished text is a set of notes intended for further study. It can be dated between the end of 1987 and the middle of 1988, when Fr. Bergoglio was working on his thesis on Romano Guardini and was examining the use of Marxist analysis in the interpretation of reality, which he saw as an example of how obsolete categories are eventually superseded by reality.[1] Bergoglio opens with a quote from an article by Alberto Methol Ferré on how the Church saw the issue of relations with the working class, which had come to the fore of its concerns...

By: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ

The Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons Enters into Force

The United Nations has aspired to the abolition of nuclear weapons since its inception. The first UN General Assembly called for “the prohibition of the use of atomic energy for military purposes and the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable now or in the future to mass destruction.” In his 1963 encyclical Pacem in terris, Pope John XXIII declared that the ultimate goal of his call for nuclear disarmament was “to abolish them entirely.” A few months later, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, with the Cuban missile crisis only months behind him,...

By: Drew Christiansen SJ

For an Ecological Conversion

Covid-19 and the global risk society Covid-19 has forced humanity to face a global crisis that seemed unimaginable in our contemporary high-tech globalized world. It has affected schools, churches, sports, markets, and so on, bringing to a halt the ordinary habits and activities of all social organizations in every nation and region of the world. If we were under the illusion that technology and modern science had driven all the spirits out of the forests and controlled every aspect of human society, we were wrong.[1] They have not yet provided us with a panacea in response to the virus. The...

By: Seil Oh, SJ

The Spiritual Aftermath of Covid-19

A catastrophe can shape the way a generation thinks, as can be testified by children who are born after a war, mothers who see their children fleeing poverty, and the millions of refugees in the world today. In the history of humanity, wars, pandemics and famines, as recurring phenomena, require an adequate understanding of their causes and consequences, otherwise there is a high risk of repeating mistakes, losing our way and becoming shipwrecked again. In the specific case of pandemics, repercussions can be even more deleterious, because the culprit is not the aggressive neighbor or the absence of rain: the...

By: Álvaro Lobo Arranz, SJ
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