Issue 2105

Popular Religiosity in the Dialogue Between Faith and Culture

Popular religiosity: faith or culture? Some time ago, a Jesuit, who at that time was working with a parish in a working-class neighborhood, confided to us his concern about the drastic decrease in the number of faithful attending celebrations, catechesis and parish activities. In contrast, he noted the enormous number of people who, gathered by the confraternity of the neighborhood, filled the parish on the occasion of its celebrations and, above all, flocked en masse whenever it carried its images in procession through the streets. Our colleague gave a clear explanation for this imbalance, stating that while parish activities were...

By: Daniel Cuesta Gómez, SJ

Bad Tales

After their great debut with La terra dell’abbastanza (Boys Cry, 2018), the brothers Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo have produced a film that deserves all the awards it has received, including five Nastri d’argento, and a prize at the Berlin Film Festival. The brothers describe Favolacce (Bad Tales), as a contrast to the realism of their first work, a sort of black fable in which, through the voice of a narrator, they portray the pneumatic vacuum of the parental figures (with the addition of a teacher) who attempt to teach their children how to live, while instead they have lost any...

By: Mariano Iacobellis, SJ

Mary Magdalene and the Resurrection in the Gospel of Luke

Mary Magdalene is a key figure in early Christianity. Present in the four Gospels, she occupies a unique position, being a privileged witness to the resurrection. The East loves to call her “apostle of the apostles.” Tradition very quickly made her, especially after the fourth century, a sinner and a prostitute, identifying her with anonymous women in the Gospels, such as the forgiven sinner of Luke 7:36-50. But nothing in the Gospels supports such an identification. So, what do we know about her? Very little, in truth! She was from Magdala, a village on the shores of Lake Tiberias. Some...

By: Marc Rastoin, SJ

The Hope of Corie Mattie

American street artist Corie Mattie is better known as the “LA Hope Dealer.” She uses the street and walls as frames for her art, which is a communication of meaning and a reflection on the ethical principles of respect and tolerance. Born on the East Coast of the United States, she moved to Los Angeles. Returning east to study at the University of Maryland, Corie later finishing her education with a master’s degree at Georgetown University. She says about her life and work, “When my murals or pieces touch and inspire people, it reminds me of why I took this...

By: Claudio Zonta SJ

Salvation and the Jews

In Jesus’ exchange with the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John, he tells her: “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). The Church affirms that Christ’s rootedness in the Jewish people signifies that salvation indeed has come from the Jews. The teaching of the Second Vatican Council on the Jewish people and the successive teaching in article 4 of the Declaration Nostra Aetate (NA)[1] insists that the relationship with the Jewish people, the constant reference to the Scriptures of Israel (the Old Testament) and familiarity with Israel’s traditions are essential elements in getting to know Jesus of Nazareth, proclaimed...

By: David Neuhaus, SJ

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

If we could travel through time, to what period would we choose to return? Japanese writer Toshikazu Kawaguchi poses this and other questions in his novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold. It tells a very enjoyable story that takes place entirely inside a tiny café in Tokyo, which holds a secret: the chance to travel through time. A few ironclad rules determine the conditions of the journey. The first is in some ways the most discouraging, namely, that the present cannot be changed. Many retreat in the face of this first, mandatory condition. What is the point, many cafe patrons...

By: Diego Mattei, SJ

Repaying the Ecological Debt: Pope Francis writes to the IMF and World Bank

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are two sister institutions created in 1944 by the Bretton Woods Agreements. The Fund was established to support the international financial system, granting conditional credits to countries experiencing temporary difficulties with their balance of payments. The World Bank, meanwhile, by financing investment projects vital to the development of poor countries on very advantageous terms, is at the forefront of global efforts to end extreme poverty, promote shared prosperity, and foster sustainable development. The two institutions meet periodically to raise awareness and increase engagement with these issues, as well as to guide...

By: Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi SJ

The Bible as a Cultural Gift: Four words for today

Father Timothy Radcliffe, who was Master General of the Dominicans, has presented the relationship between faith and culture in these terms: “I grew up in a Catholic subculture that interpreted existence and the world in terms of gratitude and blessing. We believed in a God who heard our prayers, who loved us, and who at the hour of our death would let us go to heaven [...]. We had a host of friends who were neither Catholic nor Christian, but it was clear to all that life was oriented toward eternity. Now this subculture is largely disappearing [...]. I believe...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ
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