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Twenty-seven South Asian Jesuit theologians met at Ashirvad, Bangalore for the First Seminar of the South Asian Jesuit Theologians’ Forum from 23rd to 25th April 2016. They explored “South Asian (Indian) Christology” in the three day seminar. P.R. John SJ, professor of Systematic Theology at Vidyajyoti, the convener of the forum, organized this seminar.
The key to the dynamics of the Seminar can be traced to the First South Asian Jesuit Theologians’ Colloquium that was convened by Father Michael Amaladoss in Delhi, 2014. The participants of this Colloquium recognized that the pivotal aspect of their mission as Jesuit theologians was the quest to facilitate Christians as well as peoples of other religious faiths and traditions in the nourishment of their faith. In other words, they sought a context-oriented theology.
I When tension in our world is too great and when frustrations and fear attains high levels among people and entire groups of people, ordinary everyday language and the language of secular politics is not powerful enough to express those emotions, people spontaneously reach for the language of religion. Political leaders – even in the so-called secular societies which have scrupulously striven to separate religion and politics – use the power of religious rhetoric and religious symbols. Once again the world is “bedeviled” and people are dehumanized. Political enemies are no longer perceived simply as people with different opinions and interests but as the army of the “Great Satan”. If religion becomes a weapon in political conflicts it can truly have destructive powers. Nuclear weapons turn human settlements into dust and ruins. Religion, when used as a weapon, transforms the landscape of political conflicts into a battle scene in an apocalyptic cosmic war between Good and Evil.
a.. A reflection rooted in "memory": the dynamics of identity and mission
b. A reflection rooted in hope: opportunity for renewal
c. A reflection linked to the Church “kairos”: PR relocated in the context "Franciscan"
i. The Synod of the New Evangelization
ii. Change of track
1. from secularized Europe to the Latin America of the poor
2. from truth and ideal to signs and action
3. From truth and beauty to prophetic denunciation and “fuss” making
iii. An “inculturation” of Evangelii nuntiandi from Paul VI
i. No lamentations
ii. Positive and joyful spirit
iii. Of the poor and for the poor
iv. More movement than organization: reaching out Church
Liberation theology, which interprets the teachings of Christ in relation to liberation from unjust social, economic and political conditions, is rooted in the Bible and the life of Jesus, said the priest who developed the concept nearly 50 years ago.
Dominican Father Gustavo Gutierrez told an audience at St Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, that “theology is a hermeneutic of hope. Theology touches on the motive, the story of our Lord in history.” “Theology is a letter of love to God,” the Peruvian theologian known as the father of liberation theology added during an event during which he received an honorary doctorate. “Theology is not a perfect response to that question, but an effort to respond,” he said, noting the immense suffering and mystery of poverty.
SOUTH ASIAN JESUIT THEOLOGIANS’ COLLOQUIUM, DELHI
South Asian Jesuit Theologians’ colloquium was convened by Fr Michel Amaladoss SJ, one of the eminent Asian theologians and the secretary of the Jesuits in Religious Studies (JERES) from 19-21, October 2014 at Nav Jivan Retreat Center in Delhi. Thirty two theologians who attended the conference deliberated upon the challenges that the Jesuit theologians face in building a theologically thinking and feeling community in the South Asian region that is sensitive to glocal concerns.
“Let us build ourselves … Let us know each other” was the theme for the first day of the conference.
In a presentation he made at the first World Forum on Theology and Liberation, held Jan. 21-25 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Father Wilfred describes these "subaltern perspectives," which he sees as sharing common elements. He calls them "contextual, inter-disciplinary and inter-religious," unlike modern Western theology, which he says accentuates "historicity and historical consciousness
The call for more effective approaches to the evangelizing mission of the church in Asia has been a perennial challenge and concern of the Asian bishops and theologians, more so for the local churches inserted in the web of everyday relationship with the marginalized and believers of the different cultures and religions. Whatever the new approaches, the effectiveness of the approaches depends ultimately on the church manifesting the sacred power of God’s Spirit in the perennial mission of proclaiming the sustainability of life with greater dignity and justice in the human and earth communities. This life is only sustainable when the human community learns to uphold with awe and reverence the sacredness of all lives, beings and all persons created inviolable in the sight of God.
Fr William Grimm MM, Tokyo.
Among moves we can expect to see under Pope Francis will be an attempt to reform the Vatican Curia. The pope has appointed eight cardinals from around the world to advise him in making that reform happen.
Solutions to careerism, corruption and abuse of power in the Curia were sought at least as early as the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. As Vatileaks and much current experience make clear, we are still searching in the twenty-first century.