April 2014

Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church
 

Dear Colleagues,

 

Besides the Forum and the Regional Reports, I want to highlight TWO MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS.

 

First, we have designed and posted the information and application form for the Visiting Professors Application.  As you can see, we are in our initial stages but schools in Bangalore, Manila, and Nairobi are now taking applications!  I think this is one of our most important initiatives!  Please check the application procedure information posted on our site.

 

Second, MT Davila, the Chair of the Latin American Region, and I have worked for a planning meeting of 12 Latin American Theological Ethicists in Bogota Colombia on May 2-4.  This meeting is to lay the groundwork for our first Pan-Latin American Regional Meeting 18-24 months from now. Planning Committee member Andrea Vicini will also join us on the trip.  The May newsletter will give you more details.

 

We hope you enjoy the First!

 

Best

 

Jim

Top Stories


We are happy to announce the:

CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL ETHICS IN THE WORLD CHURCH

VISITING PROFESSORSHIP PROGRAM

 

Application Procedure

The CTEWC Visiting Professorship program is open to application from any theological ethicist who wishes to teach/team-teach and engage in collaborative research work for a period of one to five months in a theological institution in another country. In the initial phase of the program, institutions in Nairobi-Kenya, Bangalore-India, or Manila-Philippines, will host the visiting professor who can teach in English. The CTEWC would cover the cost of the airfare. The visiting professor would not get remunerated but her or his board and lodging and basic health needs will be taken care of by the host institution.   

 

All prospective visiting professors must e-mail their application form as well as Curriculum Vitae to James Keenan, sj james.keenan.2@bc.edu and the Site coordinator in the preferred host country/ies (India - Shaji George Kochuthara, cmi, kochuthshaji@gmail.com; Kenya - Elias Omondi, sj,  eliasomondi@gmail.com; Philippines - Agnes M. Brazal, agnesmbrazal@gmail.com)

 

Here is a link to the application page

CTEWC Forums from Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America
News from Africa

Kenya:

Hekima Theological and Peacebuilding Symposium 19-21 March

 

Hekima College held it annual theological and peacebuilding symposium on Inter-religious Dialogue. The variety of theologians and scholars in inter-religious studies enriched the discussions, particularly highlighting how the different faiths can engage with each other in common actions geared towards social change and betterment of human life. The challenge of terrorism in its relation to religious identity was equally discussed. 

 

Workshop on Catholic Leadership and Policy Change 8th March 2014

 

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) held a one day workshop on the 'Role of Catholic leaders in policy formulation and implementation'. The workshop brought together Catholics from different sectors - lawyers, theologians, human rights activists, university lectures, journalists, policy makers, etc, largely from Kenya, but also from South Africa and Zimbabwe. The idea was to explore how Catholics can be active in influencing policies and social change. HIPSIR, in collaboration with the African Forum for Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST) is working on an edited volume on Catholic Leadership and Peacebuilding in Africa.  

  

 

Call for Papers:

International Conference on Peace and International Relations

Conference Theme: Transitional Justice in Post-conflict Societies in Africa

 

Date: 8-9 October 2014

To be held at: Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HPSIR)

A constituent college of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Nairobi, Kenya

 

 

The general objective of this conference is to stimulate strategic response to the challenges of national healing and reconciliation in African countries, such as Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Rwanda, among others, while looking at the diverse policy formulation and implementation opportunities in addressing the needs around transitional justice. In a number of post conflict societies in Africa there has been a general impasse on the way forward in addressing issues of justice, compensation, accountability, healing and reconciliation. It is therefore fundamental that as civil society, government, academic and religious institutions we explore ways in which we can find long lasting solutions to our fragmented societies. 

         

One of the expected outcomes is that this conference would create an international platform to discuss how different countries in Africa have responded to the challenges of transitional justice and post conflict peacebuilding. The diverse contextual analyses from the continent will further enhance discussions and policy recommendations on how different countries in Africa (particularly Kenya) could carry forward the process of healing and reconciliation. The papers presented at the conference will be peer-reviewed and published in the Institute's upcoming journal - Africa Peace Studies Journal and regular policy briefs. 

 

Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), in consultation with different stake holders, is keen to develop a post-conference strategy towards policy formulation and implementation, while taking into account the complex nature of the transitional justice process. This will hopefully set the stage for multilateral engagement with all the concerned local, regional and international actors (governments, civil society, African Union, IGAD, etc) in the search for sustainable peace and development in Africa.

 

View more information:
News from Asia

India: National Seminar on Moral Theology (and call for papers)

The second national seminar on "Moral Theology in India Today" will be held in Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, from July 17 to 20, 2014.

The theme of this year's seminar is "Gender Justice in the Church and Society." The Department of moral theology at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram will continue to serve as the organizer as they did successfully in the first national seminar in 2012.

 

According to the planning committee, although we believe that God created man and woman equal in dignity, almost invariably in most societies this equality was not practised. The Church is not an exception to this. It is indeed praiseworthy that in the Church and in the society today there is a greater awareness of the equal dignity of the woman. However, in the Indian context, gender discrimination and violence against women continue in different forms. The brutal gang rape and killing of a girl in Delhi (who is given the name "Nirbhaya") in 2013 December was an occasion for the Indian society to become painfully aware of the cruelties and atrocities that women undergo in our society. The topic is thus very timely.

 

"Gender Justice in the Church and Society" aims at reflecting on creating an awareness in the society as a whole, and especially in the Church, of the different forms of gender injustice that continue to exist. The planning committee believes that injustice done to any person is injustice to humanity, that any form of discrimination and violence in the name of gender contradicts the Christian vision of man-woman relationship. A society where man and woman live and work as equal partners as children of God is the ideal that should inspire the Christian vision and action.

 

As a result, while "Gender Justice" is primarily reflected from moral theological perspective, different aspects of the issue will also be dealt with. Selected themes include: Biblical perspectives, gender and ethical issues, gender discrimination as a social-structural evil, gender and Indian legal system, gender policy of the CBCI, gender and the family, Christian education and formation, etc.

 

A limited number of academicians and activists working in the field of gender justice will also be invited to participate so as to understand the issues and problems, and to listen to them directly, and to provide a more contextual, interactive, and interdisciplinary dynamics for the seminar.

 

Besides the keynote and plenary session papers, there will be 2 or 3 parallel sessions. Please send the abstract of the papers before April 10, 2014. The complete text of the selected papers should be sent to the convenor by June 10, 2014. They will be subsequently published in April 2015. Posters presentations also are invited.

 

For further details including travel, boarding, and lodging, please contact:

Shaji George Kochuthara

Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram

Dharmaram College

Bangalore 560029

Tel. (080)41116282

Mobile: (0)9341062600

Email: kochuthshaji@gmail.com

New Publication by Maureen Junker-Kenny
  
"RELIGION AND PUBLIC REASON
A Comparison of the Positions of John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas and Paul Ricoeur," by Maureen Junker-Kenny, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


This book compares three approaches to public reason and to the public space accorded to religions: the liberal platform of an overlapping consensus proposed by John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas's discourse ethical reformulation of Kant's universalism and its realization in the public sphere, and the co- founding role which Paul Ricoeur attributes to the particular traditions that have shaped their cultures and the convictions of citizens.The premises of their positions are analysed under four aspects: (1) the normative framework which determines the specific function of public reason; (2) their anthropolo- gies and theories of action; (3) the dimensions of social life and its concreti- zation in a democratic political framework; (4) the different views of religion that follow from these factors, including their understanding of the status of metaphysical and religious truth claims, and the role of religion as a practice and conviction in a pluralist society. Recent receptions and critiques in Eng- lish and German are brought into conversation: philosophers and theologians discuss the scope of public reason, and the task of translation from faith tra- ditions, as well as the role they might have in the diversity of world cultures for shaping a shared cosmopolitan horizon. 

 

View Publisher's Summary
New Publication by Sharon A. Bong
   
"Trauma, Memory and Transformation: Southeast Asian Experiences."

What counts as trauma? How, what and why do we remember and forget? How do these critical reflections have an impact on national identity and reconstruction, social and reparative justice?   This innovative book explores how trauma, memory and transformation are managed and often mismanaged as individuals and collectives. Using examples not only from well-known events like the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, the Indian Ocean tsunami in Aceh, and civil conflict in southern Thailand and Aceh, the experiences of comfort women in the Philippines but also lesser recognized forms of trauma such as the dispossession of ethnic minority students and interreligious tensions, i.e. the Allah controversy in Malaysia, the contributors examine how people experience, survive and make sense of the frictions and violence in their lives. Embracing history, ethnography, textual analysis, storytelling and art as processes of healing, the multidisciplinary perspective enables a deeper understanding of how trauma is defined and memory embedded in time and space. Trauma, Memory and Transformation also moves the discussion of traumatic memory away from paralysis and towards transformative action, in the ways that memories of catastrophe can be re-imagined as forms of resistance or even peace. This original book will be essential reading for all those interested in the study of trauma and memory in the Southeast Asian context.

 

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Other News

"Activist nun: Change in the church comes from the bottom up," an article by the National Catholic Reporter, featured Sr. Teresa Forcades. View the article:

  

Gemma Tulud Cruz, published " Toward a Theology of Migration: Social Justice and Religious Experience," in the Series: Content and Context in Theological Ethics.  The 262 page hardcover is available from Palgrave Macmillan (March 2014).  

  

Note: the correct email in Vincenzo Viva's piece from the March issue of FIRST, should read: salvino.leone@tiscali.it

 

Call for Submission

New Theology Review is now accepting manuscripts for its September 2014 issue.  The Deadline for manuscript submission is June 1, 2014. 

 

 

 

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Jim Keenan S.J.

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