Issue 2201

The Theology of History in the Book of Judith

The Book of Judith The Book of Judith, more than describing an event, aims to present a theology of history. In one single episode the whole story of God’s people is emblematically summarized as an apocalyptic confrontation with the forces of evil.[1] The victory of Judith – woman and widow – is the messianic proclamation of Israel triumphing over the demonic power of evil. In the first seven chapters, the book tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the powerful king of the Assyrians, who organizes a military campaign to subjugate all the peoples of the earth, through his commander, Holofernes. The...

By: Saverio Corradino, SJ

‘Still Air' a film by Leonardo Di Costanzo

Ariaferma (Still Air), starring Toni Servillo and Silvio Orlando, is a new film directed by Leonardo Di Costanzo presented out-of-competition at the Venice Film Biennale of 2021. Originally from Ischia, the director studied documentary cinema at France’s Ateliers Varan. He mainly deals with social and human problems, which often have no definitive solutions but do open up worlds of possibility and spaces for careful reflection. In 2003, he released A scuola (At School), set in the Nino Cortese Middle School in the Pazzigno district of Naples. It won the Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Award for Best Documentary....

By: Claudio Zonta SJ

The Middle East Between Pandemic and Oil Crisis

In the last two years the world order has been shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has generated new and increasingly aggressive variants, causing millions of deaths in many countries – especially where vaccines are scarce – and by the climate crisis, which is becoming more acute and worrying every year, so much so that it has mobilized not only activists in the field, the participants in so-called “ecological movements,” but also politicians and the world of finance and production in general. In particular, the crisis caused by Covid-19 led to the collapse of oil prices in the spring of...

By: Giovanni Sale, SJ

Euthanasia, Another Wave Sweeping Across Europe

A petition with more than 1.2 million signatures was delivered to the Italian Supreme Court last October 8, calling for a referendum with the aim to legalize euthanasia. Of these almost 400,000 were gathered online. The referendum aims to repeal the regulation in the criminal code that prevents the introduction of legal euthanasia in Italy. If the referendum is successful, assisted euthanasia would be allowed in the forms provided for by the Law on Informed Consent and Living Will, subject to certain requirements. It would remain punishable if euthanasia involves a person incapable of understanding what is involved, or t...

By: Álvaro Lobo Arranz, SJ

Against Triumphalism and Spiritual Worldliness

The temptation to triumphalism – Christianity without the cross – and its more insidious form, spiritual worldliness – is difficult to discern. If there is a theme in the magisterium of Bergoglio-Francis that recurs with particular frequency, it is precisely this.[1] In the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, pronouncing a “no to spiritual worldliness,” Francis put it in black and white. The alternative is between a Church on the move to evangelize the world and a Church invaded by spiritual worldliness: “This is a tremendous corruption, disguised as a good. We need to  avoid it by making the Church constantly go...

By: Diego Fares SJ

Éric Rohmer, Reflections in Light of the ‘New Wave’ of Romanian Cinema

The cinema of Rohmer Éric Rohmer (1920-2010), the nom de plume of Jean-Marie Maurice Schérer, was one of the main exponents of the Nouvelle Vague, the “new wave” of French cinema, born at the end of the 1950s to promote a cinema more faithful to reality and life. Like the other founders of the movement – Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Claude Chabrol – Rohmer collaborated with André Bazin on the editorial staff of Cahiers du Cinéma, France’s most prestigious film magazine, before devoting himself to directing. The policy pursued by the promoters of the Nouvelle Vague was...

By: Piero Loredan, SJ

Christmas in the Liturgy

“Apart from the annual celebration of the Paschal Mystery, the Church has no more ancient custom than celebrating the memorial of the Nativity of the Lord and of his first manifestations, and this takes place in Christmas Time.”[1] This celebration begins with the First Vespers of Christmas and ends on the Sunday after the Epiphany. The earliest records of the feast of Christmas may be traced back to the middle of the fourth century, and the date of December 25 as the day of Christ’s birth is found in the oldest Roman liturgical calendar of 354.[2] To nourish our faith...

By: Enrico Cattaneo, SJ

‘The Spirit of Enlargement’ – Pope Francis in Cyprus and Greece

At 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2021, Ita Airways flight AZ4000, carrying Pope Francis, the papal entourage and accredited journalists, took off for Larnaca International Airport where it landed at 3 p.m. local time. So began the pope’s apostolic journey to Cyprus. The island marks the border and junction between Europe and the Middle East. Its geographical location has made it, since ancient times, a strategic place of passage for different peoples and civilizations: Hittites, Greeks, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, and then Franks, Venetians, Ottomans and British. Today the island is divided between the Republic of Cyprus and...

By: Antonio Spadaro, SJ
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