“The sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelization” is the statement Pope Francis uses in Evangelii Gaudium (EG) to conclude the section dedicated to the proclamation of the Word. It is a page that is simple and at the same time complex. Simple, because there can be no true evangelization without the Scriptures; complex, because it is necessary to explain why the Church has “lost” the Bible during its history.
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The theme of inculturation is not new among African theologians, especially in recent studies. Because of its importance, we carried out a brief investigation to observe how the process of inculturation has been at the center of the Church for centuries.
What does it mean to be a citizen in today’s Western societies? There is often talk of a certain discomfort with the responsibilities that come with citizenship. Why? We will look here at three areas where we spend our daily lives as citizens.
The “prosperity gospel” is a well-known theological current emerging from the neo-Pentecostal evangelical movements. At its heart is the belief that God wants his followers to have a prosperous life, that is, to be rich, healthy and happy.
Mary Oliver passed away at age 84 in Hobe Sound, Florida, January 17, 2019. She was one of the most widely read and appreciated poets in the United States. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1984) and numerous other honors, including four honorary doctorates and the National Book Award (1992), Mary Oliver owed the success of her vast poetic and non-fiction output (almost 30 volumes of poetry, and prose) to her ability to touch the key questions of existence through an immediate and familiar dialogue with the reader.
“I love my dog. When he dies will he go to heaven? Do animals have eternal life?” The answer to that might come as a surprise to many of us, but, looked at through the eyes of Christian faith, yes, his dog can go to heaven. It’s one of the meanings of Christmas. God came into the world to save the world, not just the people living in it.
We’re all familiar, I suspect, with the difference between justice and charity. Charity is giving away some of your time, energy, resources, and person so as to help to others in need. And that’s an admirable virtue, the sign of a good heart. Justice, on the other hand, is less about directly giving something away than it is about looking to change the conditions and systems that put others in need.
The results of an international sociological research project were recently presented in Rome. It looked to explore what young people think about their own personal futures and how they view the outlook for their families and for the local and national communities in the countries where they live.
What would Jesus do? For some Christians, that’s the easy answer to every question. In every situation all we need to ask is: What would Jesus do? At a deep level, that’s actually true. Jesus is the ultimate criterion. He is the way, the truth, and the life and anything that contradicts him is not a way to God. Yet, I suspect, many of us find ourselves irritated in how that expression is often used in simplistic ways, as a fundamentalism difficult to digest.
It’s becoming increasing difficult in today’s world to trust anything or anybody, for good reason. There’s little that’s stable, safe to lean on, trustworthy. We live in a world where everything is in flux, is flux, where everywhere we see distrust, abandoned values, debunked creeds, people moving on from where they used to be, contradictory information, and dishonesty and lying as socially and morally acceptable. There is little left of trust in our world.
The myth of Narcissus tells the story of a young man who falls in love with his own image reflected in the water. This is fruit of a punishment and a vendetta. In fact, the young hunter had rejected a goddess who had fallen in love with him. Ovid and Pausanias tell the story. The tale concludes in a woeful manner because by endeavoring to embrace his own image Narcissus pines away and dies.
Everywhere in church circles today you hear a lament: Our churches are emptying. We’ve lost our youth. This generation no longer knows or understands the classical theological language. We need to announce Jesus again, as if for the first time, but how?
Analyzing the Japanese words used to indicate the concept of “mission” may help to better facilitate understanding of what mission should be, the perception of which has become even more acute over the last 50 years. In fact, every definition entails a model or a paradigm of how to carry out a missionary activity.
After the arrival of St. Francis Xavier in Japan (1549), the Catholic Church grew rapidly, and the faith was accepted by people of all states of life. Those who ruled were displeased and responded with persecution, leading to tens of thousands of martyrs giving up their lives. Many Christian communities chose to go underground to preserve their faith.
The inculturation of Christianity in Japan has not been an easy process. Its history is full of encounters and contrasts, conflicts and compromises. Among the reasons for this difficult history is the complexity and uniqueness of Japanese culture.
We tend to nurse a certain naiveté about what faith means in the face of death. The common notion among us as Christians is that if someone has a genuine faith she should be able to face death without fear or doubt. The implication then of course is that having fear and doubt when one is dying is an indication of a weak faith. While it’s true that many people with a strong faith do face death calmly and without fear, that’s not always the case, nor necessarily the norm.
The entire journey of the John Paul II Theological Institute therefore expresses the commitment to respond in the best possible way to the insistent request of Pope Francis “to have light and flexible structures that express the priority given to welcoming and dialogue, to inter- and trans-disciplinary work and networking.
International collaboration on global issues has become a faint memory, hardly a possibility under current conditions.The Liberal World Order that was put in place after the Second World War and came to maturity in the quarter-century following the revolutions of 1989 has suffered severe shocks from the rise of populist nationalism and revanchist authoritarianism.