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This week, SALT's weekends' filled with fruitful discussion with two theologians in action as we meet up with Sr. Agnes Samosir FcJ and Fr. Nithiya Sagayam OFM. Cap.
To read more click, WEEKEND WITH THEOLOGIANS IN SOCIAL ACTION
Abstract of my book "culture of benevolence"
In relation to society there can be some structures identified as hierarchic – democratic – humanitarian. But we have to go further than that. All these structures – according to the Anima Magna culture – need to be filled with benevolence for all and magnanimous thinking for all:
"I want to live and I want, that you live. We all care that we all exist well".
Here's a little more background on the Argentinian "theology of the people" now made famous by Pope Francis from an excellent new, little book, Le pape du peuple, which is a series of interviews by Bernadette Sauvaget with the theologian Juan Carlos Scannone.
As noted previously, Scannone, who cites his participation at an important conference organised by ICMICA in Rome in 1974, is one of a trio of Argentinian theologians alongside Lucio Gera and Rafaël Tello, whose influence on Pope Francis he confirms, who were responsible for the development of the theology of the people.
Peace and greetings.
Welcome to July 2015 issue of Salaam.
Recently a Muslim friend asked me about the statutes in the Church whether Christians worship statues. In other words: Are Christians idol worshipers? We had a very helpful religious conversation around the topic. I would like to share with you...
On 3 July 2015 the Education Minister of the Maharashtra government dropped a bomb shell. He announced that Madrasas which do not teach primary subjects such as English, Maths and Science would be considered as "non-schools" and children studying in them as "out of school" kids. This decision was conveyed in a letter written by the state’s minority affairs department to the school education department. This directional order drew fierce criticism from several quarters including the opposition parties, and from many Muslims and Muslim institutions (See: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/madrasas-de-recognised-in-maharashtra-classified-as-non-schools/#sthash.m43zVeTW.dpuf). Reacting sharply to the government decision, the president of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen(AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi, questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision, since “there are many madrasas that are teaching Maths, English and science. Many madrasa students have gone ahead and cracked civil services exams,”he said (See: http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/muslim-leaders-oppn-criticise-move-to-call-madrasas-non-schools/ar-AAcsLQD).
According to the recent media reporting more than 700 natives of Karachi Pakistan have lost their lives due to heat wave strokes. This is the most terrible catastrophe occurred in these two to three days in Pakistan. Government is not taking serious measures on climate change whereas the other countries around the world are screaming loudly about climate justice.
Father Thomas V Kunnunkal SJ, President of Islamic Studies Association (Delhi), along with Father T. K. John Professor Emeritus, Fr P.R. John SJ and Victor Edwin SJ of Vidyajyoti College of Theology visited Maulana Wahiduddin Khan 22 June 2015 at his residence in West Nizamuddin, Delhi and delivered the message that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims to wish them a peaceful and joyful celebration of the month of Ramzan and Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan”.
In his encyclical “Be Praised” (Laudato Si) the Pope Francis cited a ninth century mystical Muslim poet Ali-al-Khawas while emphasizing the presence of God in this world. Pope wrote that a ‘mystical meaning’ should be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dew drop, in a poor person’s face. (Pope Francis’ words remind me of Gerard Manley Hopkins … the world is charged with the grandeur of God …).
UN Office Geneva from 01st -05th June 2015
Participants of Sharing Session
Staff Members & Students from Forman Christian College Lahore, Kinnaird College Lahore, St. Anthony High School Lahore and Interfaith Commission for Community Development Lahore, Pakistan
Dated 08th June 2015, about one hour sharing session was organized at Lahore Pakistan. The video-link sharing session was about my recent experience during International Labor Conference 2015, UN Session Geneva Switzerland as an observer and to do lobby work. A mixed gender group of young students and professionals named Ms Anika Samuel, Ms. Hina Yousaf, Ms. Beenish Daood (Sociology Department), Mr. Nadeem Tabassum (Bio Informatics Department), Mr. Raheel Romail (Computer Science Department), Ms. Sarah Julian (Food Safety Department), Mr. Nobel Waris (Bio Technology Department), Mr. Qindeel Rabbani (Computer Science Department), Mr. Kamil Dass (College Student), Mr. Faran Najam CIMA (Accounting) Mr. Faris Najam HND (Business Department) and Mr. Danish (Former Member of IMCS Lahore, Pakistan).
Since taking office, Pope Francis has profoundly reminded the church about the Christian vocation to work for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This task, he insists, becomes all the more urgent in the face of contemporary global challenges such as climate change, inequalities, the refugees crisis, and the passive attitude that he describes as “the globalization of indifference.” In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis makes this task clear:
“the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need, a kind of “charity à la carte”, or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 4:43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity. Both Christian preaching and life, then, are meant to have an impact on society. (180)”
But what is the best way for us to have a positive “impact on society?” How can any of us ever have an impact on destructive attitudes and social arrangements, what the Catholic tradition describes as “structures of sin”?
Amidst killings, disappearances, assaults, threats, intimidations, harassments and restrictions on journalists, widespread self-censorship and exile of journalists critical of the government, surveillance and blocking of websites, and absolute impunity, there was very little to celebrate World Press Freedom day in Sri Lanka last few years. Perhaps the only thing to celebrate was the resilience of few who dared to express their views at grave risk to themselves, colleagues, families and institutions.
europeinfos #182 - May 2015
Concrete initiatives launched by Christian organisations during COP21 in Paris in December 2015 to encourage leaders to insure firm commitments against climate change.
CIDSE is an international alliance of 17 Catholic development organisations working together for global justice. Caritas Internationalis is a network comprising 165 organisations. It works for a world of peace, solidarity and justice. It provides help to victims of war, natural disaster and poverty and to migrants. CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis together published in November 2014 the declaration: "Catholic international organisations facing up to climate change". It is a powerful call for action to governments and international organisations to react quickly and in an effective way to face the challenges of climate change.
First Published in (Salaam – Quarterly to Promote Understanding. Published by the Islamic Studies Association, New Delhi. Vol 36, April 2015 No.2 ISSN 0970-5384). Printed at Academy Press, Noida.
Whenever I attended an interfaith event I was always amused to see the religious leaders advocate about their own faith and find common grounds to build solidarity. However, a student I was always the recipient only having scope to ask questions or share my opinions. There was always a question on my mind as to how youth from various religious backgrounds who are not scholars in scriptures would respond to the call of interfaith dialogue. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see”, I determined to create this opportunity with few individuals who are likeminded and are working closely in the area of interfaith dialogue.
On 25 April 2015, human rights defender Ms Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead in Karachi upon leaving a seminar on Balochistan issues.
After the brutal beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts a short time ago, the ISIS has announced today the killing of 28 other Christians, all Copts and in Libya as well. But this time, the victims did not come from Egypt, but from Ethiopia. Yet, similarities between Ethiopia and Egypt do not stop there. Both countries possess a religious diversity and, hence, share much more than it seems: these are two countries where religious communities coexist peacefully, where collaborations between communities shall be further intensified. And it is perhaps there that a strategy, if any, may find its elements to emerge.
europeinfos #181 - April 2015
The impact of climate change will become more intense and its effects will be irreversible. We will have to adapt to new physical and climatic conditions.
This article is the third in a series of monthly pieces that aims to prepare our readers for COP21, the UN Conference on Climate Change that will take place in Paris in November 2015. This time we will focus on adaptation, previously it was on mitigation, as the second main stream of the actions for addressing climate change.
europeinfos #181 - April 2015
Like Nero, fiddling while Rome burned, most politicians pressed the continue-as-before button.
The issue of climate change is rarely far from the headlines. The COP21 in Paris in early December is focusing minds in 2015, but perhaps what keeps the matter on the boil continually is the gut feeling most people have that urgent steps are necessary, while few are willing to take concrete action themselves.
Dear members of the Conference of INGOs
The World Forum for Democracy will be held in Strasbourg (France) from 18-20 November 2015. The theme of this year’s Forum is “Freedom vs control: For a democratic response”.
The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy is an annual gathering of leaders, ...
Please find the UPR stakeholders submission on Nepal in the attachment.