Issue 2108

Prudence: A forgotten virtue?

A forgotten heritage In today’s imagination prudence is mainly associated with careful, considered behavior (for example, driving a car slowly) or with a tendency to be indecisive so as to avoid risks, or worse, with a form of cowardice that prevents someone from taking a stand.[1] These views are largely associated with modern thought. In antiquity, however, prudence was considered the highest virtue and the guide of all the others (auriga virtutum), because it allowed people to recognize the fundamental objective of life in a specific situation, and above all it identified the appropriate means to achieve it. The Greeks...

By: Giovanni Cucci, SJ

Maradona: ‘I will never be an ordinary man’

The journalist, sports writer and TV host Gianni Minà has reprised his earlier writing and interviews to produce a wide-ranging, impassioned and profound portrait of Diego Armando Maradona, marked by linguistic flair and wit in his biography, Maradona: ‘Non sarò mai un uomo comune’ Il calcio al tempo di Diego (Maradona: ‘I will never be an ordinary man’ Soccer in the age of Diego). Published by Minimum Fax, it tells the story of Maradona and his human side, full of contradictions and weaknesses, expressed through his passion for soccer, his champion’s instinct and the drive that saw him lead Naples...

By: Claudio Zonta SJ

Back to the Olive Tree: Toward a Mediterranean theology

In his June 21, 2019, address in Naples, Pope Francis encouraged the elaboration of a Mediterranean theology. This theology, he specified, will bring into play “new narratives”: “There is a need for renewed and shared narratives that, starting from listening to the roots and the present, speak to the hearts of people, narratives in which it is possible to recognize oneself in a constructive, peaceful and hope-generating way.” This essay will sketch an outline of such a narrative, starting with a “composition of place.” That place is the spot Pope Francis was speaking from, where, through a frame of the...

By: Jean-Pierre Sonnet, SJ

Veleno - ‘Poison’

Veleno (Poison) is a docuseries based on the book by Pablo Trincia that traces the terrible events of the late 1990s in two Italian villages in the Bassa Modenese, which are separated by a few kilometers of fields, farmhouses and often banks of fog. Sixteen children were taken from their families and transferred to protected locations. The parents were suspected of belonging to a sect of Satanic pedophiles who carry out nocturnal rituals in cemeteries. The children told their stories of horror to psychologists and social workers. The network of monsters they described seemed endless, and involved fathers, mothers, siblings,...

By: Mariano Iacobellis, SJ

A More Loving and Lovable Church: Madeleine Delbrêl (1904–1964)

To write about Madeleine Delbrêl, Cardinal Martini said, is to write about “one of the greatest mystics of the 20th century.”[1] It was the same cardinal who said that “the Church is 200 years out of date. Why doesn’t it wake up? Are we afraid? Are we fearful rather than courageous?”[2] Yet when we read about Madeleine’s life we can affirm that in this daughter of the Church, in the testimony of  her life and her thought, the Church was already ahead by 80 years. When Martini spoke of being out of date, he was mainly referring to the Church...

By: Diego Fares SJ

Dostoevsky: Theology from the frontier of experience

Perhaps few experienced the restless 19th century as intensely as Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821-81). His was a very strong experience of an era, his life full of personal misfortune. The artistic expression of what he lived through affected others as deeply as himself. When his debut epistolary novel Poor Folk (1846) was enthusiastically received by critics, the young mining engineer seemed destined to become a successful writer. However, his career was abruptly cut short in 1849 when he was imprisoned and sentenced to death for high treason because of his participation in a reading group. He was pardoned in December...

By: Stephan Lipke, SJ

Migrant Songs

The theme of migration has been part of the Italian popular music scene since the beginning of the 20th century, for example in songs such as Nebbi’ a la valle (Mist in the Valley), a traditional lament from Abruzzo about olive pickers in the Maiella area. This ballad was later recorded with the title Cade l’olivo (The Olive Falls) by Giovanna Marini and Domenico Modugno, and  became more famous as the hit Amara terra mia (Bitter Land of Mine). The main theme is the pain felt in leaving your own land, which, in the song, is described with the same...

By: Claudio Zonta SJ

Pope Francis Speaks With Muslims: The trip to Iraq in context

The significance, on a theological level, of Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq in March 2021 emerges clearly only when placed in the larger theological, historical and chronological context. First of all, bear in mind that the pope comes from the continent with the lowest percentage of Muslims, although Jorge Bergoglio’s homeland, Argentina, is the Latin American country where the largest portion of the Muslim population lives: about 400,000 people belong to Islam. That is a considerably larger number than, say, Argentina’s Jews. Pope Francis already brought with him from Buenos Aires his friendship with an important Argentine Muslim, a former...

By: Felix Körner, SJ
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