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The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church
 
June 2016

Toward an Ethics of Participation and Hope in Latin America: Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church Convenes in Bogotá


We just wrapped up a four-day conference here in Bogotá, Colombia brilliantly organized and realized by the indomitable Maria Teresa (MT) Davila from Andover Newton Theological School and Director of the Latin American Region of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church(CTEWC). 
After CTEWC's second international congress in Trento in 2010 where 600 Catholic theological ethicists converged from 72 countries, the Planning Committee of CTEWC decided to fortify the network by hosting regional conferences.  In 2012, the Nigerian Agbonghianmeghe Orobator, SJ, chaired the first Pan African Congress in Nairobi.  In 2013, the North American Regional Committee decided to engage their colleagues through a working group (2014-2016) at the annual meetings of the Catholic Theological Society of America.  In 2014, Roman Globokar (Slovenia) and Konrad Glombik (Poland) held the European Congress in Krakow.  In 2015, the late Yiu Sing Lúcás Chan, SJ, (Hong Kong) and Shaji George Kochuthara, CMI (India) organized the Pan Asian Conference in Bangalore.
Here in Bogotá, Davila worked with two professors from the spectacularly hospitable and beautifulJaveriana University, María Isabel Gil Espinosa and Alberto Munera, SJ.  Together they invited roughly one hundred Catholic ethicists from more than twenty countries.   While the shared identity of Latin American theologians provided the background, the organizers brought to the foreground the differences from each part of the continent by inviting nine distinctive national voices to speak.  Despite some similarities, the challenges and hopes in contemporary Brazil are considerably different from those in Chile, Colombia, or Cuba.  No where was the difference heard more than when Luis Jesús Paz Acosta from El Salvador spoke about the urgent struggles with gangs, while Javier Menocal acknowledged the absence of such phenomenon in Nicaragua.
Differences across Latin America were remarkable.
The conference sponsored 12 plenary papers and more than 60 other concurrent presentations on such themes as gender, sexuality, human trafficking, de-colonization, immigration, Laudato Si' and sustainability, Amoris Laetitia and the family, poverty, unemployment, drug use, aesthetics, and the primacy of conscience.  Besides Paz's riveting paper on gangs, high points included María Verónica Anguita Mackay (Chile) on bioethics and how (poorly) mass media communicates on such urgent contemporary issues, Miguel Sanchez on corruption in Mexico, and María Isabel Gil Espinosa, who works at an AIDS clinic here in the capital and closed the conference with a passionate and critical summons for a more inclusive, closer-to-the-ground attention to human suffering across the continent.
Major senior moralists like Munera were there including: Marcio Fabri dos Anjos, CSsR (Brazil), Theresa Lowe Ching, RSM, (Jamaica), Luis Ugalde, SJ and Pedro Trigo, SJ (Venezuela).  But newer scholars were even more evident.  Besides Luz and Gil Espinosa, Alexandre Martins (Brazil), Jutta Battenberg (Mexico), Hilda Ortiz Mena Fernández (Mexico), and Claudia Montes de Oca Ayala (Bolivia) each prophetically urged us toward greater dialogue, fearless solidarity, and critical attention to the most marginalized.
Bishop Jorge Lonzano who heads the Social Pastoral Commission of the Argentinian Bishop's Conference presided at Saturday evening's Eucharist and earlier presented a very significant paper on communication and social change. 
MT Davila who headed the Latin American Region for the past six years has decided to step down as director so as to become the first director of our social media communications.  Emilce Cuda (Argentina) and Elio Gasda, SJ (Brazil) succeed her.  Their first task is to publish the plenary papers along with 15 selected concurrent papers with the Javeriana University Press' on-line publications.  After that they will lead the Latin American region in preparation for our third international congress to be held in Sarajevo in July 2018.  More on that later.
See below, some pictures by MT Davila. Then See her article about the conference and then see Emilce Cuda's.  You are going to love their reports....
Best

Jim




Bogotá Conference

Here are some of the featured photos from Bogotá, we will make the entire album available on the website shortly.




All the participants from the conference gathered immediately after the conference.

María Isabel Gil Espinosa (Colombia), and MT Dávila (Puerto Rico), the organizers of the conference. 

New chairs of the CTEWC Latina American region Emilce Cuda (Argentina), and Elio Gasda (Brazil).



 
The first of three panels on national voices: Luis Ugalde from Venezuela, Emilce Cuda from Argentina, and Alexandre Martins from Brazil.

The third panel of national voices included Javier Menocal (Nicaragua); Luís Jesús Paz Acosta (El Salvador); María Cristina Ventura and Luigi Schiavvo (Costa Rica).

MT's Report On Bogotá
¡Una ética atrevida!
¡Una ética berraca!
By MT Dávila
May 26-29 marked a key point in the development of the CTEWC network in Latin America. After six years of working toward a viable network of ethicists, the conference 
Toward an Ethic of Participation and Hope took place at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia. The words above - una ética atrevida and una ética berraca - represent the spirit that I read into what took place. They signify boldness and daring, a way of doing ethics latinamente, in the key of those whose continent and experiences demand a reflection all their own, even while it considers global belonging. 
With almost 100 ethicists from over 20 countries we are certainly not talking about a univocity of perspectives. Papers presented during concurrent sessions (over 70!) witnessed to the breadth of scholarly and pastoral concerns that mark the different contexts represented. Discussions regarding bioethics included public health in the Cuban context, sex education in Colombia, and 'health rights' in Peru. Discussions regarding Catholic social teaching included topics such as inclusion of indigenous peoples in Paraguay, religious architecture in Mexico, and decolonizing moral theology. Themes on the family, women and sexuality included discussion on homosexuality and the gospel, abortion in Bolivian legislation, women and peacemaking, women's embodiment and life ethics. But this catalogue is already inadequate at the writing, as the topics varied greatly, representing scholarship and commitments from diverse experiences evaluated through the lens of theological ethics. 
However, a few distinct shared features could be identified throughout. Latin American theological ethics is decidedly interdisciplinary. This is not new. Latin American theology and ethics developed at a time when other economic fields were also emerging as properly Latin American, uniquely situated apart from the European fields that had been imported with the conquest of the Americas and the founding of the first universities. In addition, most ethicists present are also practitioners. They are leaders in community action groups for environmental justice, members of hospital and health ministry ethics boards, ministers to prisoners and gang members, midwives and business owners. Doing theological ethics in Latin America is to drink from many wells, to allow the gospel to play with indigenous, popular, and gendered and embodied categories. Doing theological ethics in Latin America attends to particularity as the language through which the universal is considered.
 Nowhere was this more evident than in the plenary sessions. Twelve distinct voices framed the discussions throughout the conference. The first established the scaffolding on which the rest of the conference would be built. Two of Latin America's most prominent ethicists - Alberto Múnera, SJ from the Universidad Javeriana, a key figure in the development of moral theology in Latin America, and Maria Inês de Castro Millen, current president of the Brazilian Society of Moral Theology as well as medical doctor and a key thinker in the field of women's health and ethics - opened the conference with two essential reference points. First, Múnera brought to the fore Pope Francis' recovery of the primacy of conscience in theological ethics and the Christian understanding of freedom. He presented these as essential to considering an ethic of participation. Millen focused her presentation on hope as a task of theological ethics and the heart of the Christian message. And yet she challenged those present to understand the complexity of contributing to an ethic of hope where many have lost a vision of the human person grounded in Christian love and as sisters and brothers in Christ due to injustice, indifference, and other social forces impacting life in community and the flourishing of hope among the faithful. The nine plenaries that followed each represented the distinct challenges to theological ethics from Nicaragua, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Again, the dance between the particular and the global was present as the challenges of gang violence, corruption, misinformation by media, 
ética de fronteras, the collusion of church authority and the state, difference and inclusion, labor and work, utopias and order, and theological ethics as an emerging field defy the task of ethical reflection in these particular contexts.
María Isabel Gil Espinosa, from the Universidad Javeriana, and the local force that made this gathering possible, closed the conference with a profound reflection on how to develop an ethic of hope in the context of particular and global suffering. Her reflection challenged the Church, especially in its ethics of exclusion, to be a more present and transforming agent of inclusion, from within its ranks and in society in general. Her plenary was a fitting framework to the task that began our "first day of work toward the future".
 I only hope the photos of the conference convey the high energy, solidarity, and collaboration that marked this conference and the work to be done from here on. My task, and indeed the whole of theological ethics, is all the richer for having had this encounter, and committing ourselves to the en conjunto work of future reflection and action.  
Emilce's Report On Bogotá
Los eticistas de América Latina y el Caribe tiene algo para testimoniar.

Los eticistas de América Latina y el Caribe tiene algo para testimoniar. Eso que han visto, oido y tocado es lo que vienen a contar a la Conferencia de Bogota. Interpelados por el sufrimientos de sus pueblos, denuncian y anuncian. 
Denuncian la injusticia que se manifiesta como violencia urbana, como crisis política, como trato deshumanizante a los migrantes, como feminicidio, como desconsiderada práctica médica, como trabajo en condiciones de precarización, como atropello a los pueblos originarios, como educación utilitaria, como sistemas jurídicos parciales, como democracias formales meramente funcionales, como majestuosidad del mercado, como idolatría del dinero y como religión del consumo; finalmente como miseria del ser. Anuncian la justicia que se manifiesta como unidad en la diferencia, como compasión ante el sufrimiento, como misericordia  hacia los débiles, como participación de todos en las decisiones que atañen a la distribución de los bienes communes, como trabajo digno, como educación liberadora y pluralista, como democracias participativas, como primacía de lo político sobre el mercado, como religión de la communión; finalmente como belleza del ser. No se trata, para la red que conforma la CTEWCH, de una denuncia crítica que divide, sino de un anuncio que une. Se denuncia la deshumanización y se anuncia la humanidad en cada hombre y mujer como Imago Dei. La Buena Nueva es Jesús, el Cristo, quien venció a la muerte en su dialéctica viva, y está con nosotros.
Casi cien eticistas en Bogotá, provenientes de distintas culturas y disciplinas, desde una posición crítica, ponen en evidencia el sufrimiento de los distintos sectores de sus pueblos, y articulan sus demandas para que estas puedan ser reconocidas como derechos. Pero al mismo tiempo, desde una posición pastoral, manifestan la necesidad de que los mismos pueblos asuman sus  responsabilidades al momento de buscar, mediante el camino del diálogo, alternativas culturales, sociales, económicas y políticas capaces de generar una vida mejor para todos y cada uno hacia el sur del continente americano.
El diálogo ético-teológico latinoamericano provocado por la CTEWCH, hoy cuenta entre sus voces con laicos y religiosos consagrados, sacerdotes y obispos, teólogos y filósofos, politólogos y sociólogos, comunicadores y estetas. Cuenta con médicos, biólogos y juristas; cuenta con  profesores y estudiantes, con académicos y pastores. Ese estímulo al debate y al compromiso generado, como motor de comunión, por la CTEWCH, no solo pone en relación distintas subculturas, tradiciones, lenguajes y posiciones teológicas y políticas, sino que también pone en relación tres generaciones de eticistas: históricos teólogos de la región, destacados y activos académicos actuales, prometedores y comprometidos jóvenes doctorandos. Como resultado, esas voces son el eco de Bogota: tanto en las aulas de sus culturas particulares, como el las publicaciones de sus artículos, libros, columnas y homilias. Lo que se predica es el eco del Documento de Aparecida, es decir, la vida buena y en abundancia para los pueblos de América Latina y el Caribe. Lo que se critica son los modos.
Diferentes categorías nombran problemas similares en distintas partes de la región. Tanto conciencia o subjetividad, como libertad o participación, son categorías centrales para los eticistas de estos tiempos y lugares. Sin embargo, no hay términos equívocos al momento de definir lo humano como "ser relacional". Relación con el otro que humaniza tanto como deshumaniza de acuerdo al vínculo que con él establezca, ya sea este de amor y liberación, o de desprecio y dominación. La conciencia, como recinto sacro de lo humano mismo, es decir su condición de ser libre, es el ámbito de la ética. Y en esto parecen acordar todos los integrantes de la red. Si la conciencia o subjetividad es una construcción individual o colectiva, o si esta puede quedar a salvo de los mecanismos de sugestión contextuados, marca las diferencias de las que emerge un diálogo movilizante y movilizador entre sus miembros y da sentido teológico y escatológico a la red.
La CTEWCH impulsa un nuevo aire para la ética teológica latinoamericana que, como un viento que sopla desde el Sur, se prepara para llevar a Sarajevo la voz de sus pueblos. Dos años de trabajo quedan por delante. Sus miembros se comprometen a mantener un diálogo por áreas de trabajo, como subdivisiones de la ética solo para hacer foco en problemas particulares, pero de ninguna manera para mostrar la teología como disciplina desarticulada: la opción por el pobre siempre es el principio de unidad. Espectativas de generar nuevos recursos de comunicación entre los equipos de trabajo son el resultado más notable de la Conferencia de Bogota. La propuesta de espacios virtuales, intercambio de artículos científicos, publicaciones conjuntas y reuniones locales bajo la modalidad de seminarios y jornadas son una muestra de eso. Se espera, por fin, una articulación de las voces de los eticistas de la región; articulación que se propone como pluralista y ecuménica, intergeneracional e interdiscilinaria. Se espera la comunicación fluida y la autoconvocatoria de sus miembros para un trabajo en equipo sostenido en el tiempo.
"Bogotá 2016 Conference: A Date with History"
by Pablo A. Blanco González 
(April, 2016)

The first continental conference of ethicists, "Toward an Ethic of Participation and Hope", will take place in May. Over 90 ethicists and specialists will be in attendance from over 20 countries in the Americas (from the Argentina to the U.S.), willing to promote collaboration and interaction among different fields and areas of study, in a project without borders. This is an unprecedented event.
This will take place from May 26-29, at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia, and Organized by the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC).
A prophetic sign for the church
Hand in hand with the new winds initiated in the church by Pope Francis, CTEWC acknowledged the need to present a common vision for a more just, solidary, and fraternal world; for embracing the challenge of pluralism and the dialogue that moves beyond local cultures; and connecting it with academic reflection that is not dominated strictly by the North/Western paradigm.
The conference counts on the support and presence of various academic and social institutions from the continent, and especially from the Latin American Bishops Council (CELAM). The presence of CELAM is a sign of the new times initiated by Pope Francis, and that are proper to the identity of the CTEWC network.
The choice of presenters and topics reflects a new leadership in ethical reflection on the biggest challenges of our time, and the current reality of our continent. Different ethicists will reflect on the particular circumstances of their country and the particular ways in which Catholic ethics offers possible responses to these challenges.
The challenges for ethics in our continent
One would think that the dizzying process of globalization in which the world turns leaves no time or place for moral reflection or concerns. However, the growing chasm between the well being and wealth enjoyed by the members of prosperous countries and the poverty and suffering of the developing world are grating against human conscience.
On the other hand, development cannot be conceived as merely the process of economic growth. Instead, it must include the integral development of all human beings, "of the whole man and all of humanity."[1], and which will also renew the environment rather tan destroy, encouraging solidarity among people, rather than isolate and marginalize them.
Justice and solidarity must be added to the invisible hand of the market, reconciling development with ethics, overcoming individualism, and laboring for the common good above other kinds of interests.
Therefore, the three pivots presented as current challenges for ethical reflection at the continental level are: Poverty, Inequality, and Exclusion. Concretely, we could propose various dimensions for reflection around these pivots, which can be addressed from the perspective of theological ethics:
  • Rethinking the family. This institution is recognized as a unique pillar of society, ground for personal development, emotional refuge, and the seed of values formation. Of tremendous relevance to the macroeconomic and institutional development of countries, today the family is under serious threat from increasing narcotraffic and poverty, and the proliferation of "a culture of consumption and disposability."[2]
New way of being family emerge that do not 'fit' known and traditional patterns, and that challenge the Church in its task of integration and welcome. This is also the case with the renewed role of women and the need for respect and the promotion of her dignity and person, a significant ethical challenge in the context of a patriarchal, 'machista', and hedonist society.
  • Education as ethical and social capital. Reducing youth poverty and bettering educational levels is an ethical debt. There is too much suffering, exclusion and marginalization of children, youth, and families, which is morally inadmissible. There are great possibilities for the contribution that education can make to reducing inequality. It is a form of social capital, and a formidable resource inherent in societies, which at the same time imbues it with solidarity and ethical values. Highlighting education assumes - in addition to improving academic performance strictly speaking - the need for an encounter between the social and ethical reality and the educational reality.
  • Organized crime and insecurity.One of the most visible and hard costs of poverty is the incessant growth of the crime index, and social instability. In many cases narcotraffic makes use of these conditions to offer youth an easy out to their situation of exclusion, recruiting them as cheap labor force for criminal activity, or turning them into consumers of their products. This last is an escape vehicle in the face of the insurmountable disenfranchisement, in which the power of the state and its ability to rule its own territory is at stake.
  • The need for politics of subsidiarity. If the countries of the region could rely on integral, cohesive, decentralized social policies, constructed alongside civil society, participatory, transparent, and inspired by the principle of subsidiarity[3], these could transform into effective means of productive mobilization and social integration. However, that path is complicated by erroneous perceptions about the ethical role of the state, civil society, and the potentialities of social politics.
  • The social and institutional toll of corruption.Resources worth millions are extracted from countries through practices that violate ethics and laws. Corruption is one of the principal channels that multiply inequality and crime. It regressively impacts the composition of public spending, the levels of investment, economic growth, and democratic functioning. However, there seems to be no social condemnation of corruption, which is often seen as 'collateral damage' of the process of improving the quality of life, or as a chronic ill - when not a 'genetic' one in our societies - without solution, this because of the inaction and complicity of certain public institutional actors.
  • The importance of participation and solidarity.Faced by the myth that devalues the poor and which is fulfilled when their exclusion deepens, an active political possibility emerges which brings power to communities and organizations. Vigorous community participation has been the characteristic of the majority of successful social programs in the region, achieving an ethical legitimacy grounded on participation and solidarity. Ethical values and dimensions shared and internalized constitute new principles for the participation of people and community organizations.
  • An ethical view of globalization.The development of our countries requires investment, technology, and international markets, and all of these are external factors that, in large part, are not under our control. The form part of a process of financial and economic globalization that requires a deep ethical review, as Benedict XVI points out.[4]
  • Creation as the new focus of the social question. There is an intimate connection between what humanity does and what humanity is. When humanity is degraded, nature is too, just as nature is contaminated, the soul and heart are as well. The environmental crisis is one[5], intimately tied to a particular mode of development that is proper to our continent, and that demands an ethical evaluation.
We find ourselves before these challenges with a society that clamors for more democracy and participation, and with an innovative "thirst for ethics", which can be shaped from the ethical reflection and the social doctrine of the Church.
Therefore, this 2016 Conference does not represent the end of a journey, but rather, a great opportunity to expand reflection and perspectives, deepening communication, form relationships, and establish common projects through which we can face these challenges as prophetic and hopeful sign for the Church.
Merely a month to go to this first continental conference, under the theme "Toward an Ethic of Participation and Hope", we can already feel that this unprecedented gathering will surely be a date with history.


[1] Populorum Progressio nº 14 (S.S. Pablo VI).
[2] Evangelii Gaudium nº 53 (S.S. Francisco).
[3] Centesimus Annus nº 48 (S.S. San Juan Pablo II).
[4] Caritas in Veritate nº 9 (S.S. Benedicto XVI).
[5] Laudato SI nº 63 (S.S. Francisco).


"Congreso de Bogotá 2016: una cita con la Historia"
Por Pablo A. Blanco González 
(Abril, 2016)

En el próximo mes de Mayo tendrá lugar el primer Congreso continental de eticistas bajo el lema "Hacia una Ética de Participación y Esperanza". Asistirán más de 90 especialistas de más de 20 países de toda América (desde EE.UU hasta Argentina) dispuestos a promover la interacción y colaboración entre diversas áreas y disciplinas, en un trabajo en red sin fronteras. Un hecho sin precedentes.
La cita será entre el 26 y el 29 de Mayo, en la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, en Bogotá, Colombia, organizado por la Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (por sus siglas CTEWC).
Un signo profético para la Iglesia
De la mano de los nuevos vientos inaugurados en la Iglesia por su Santidad Francisco, CTEWC reconoce en este contexto, la necesidad de proyectar una visión común para un mundo más justo, solidario y fraterno; de abordar el reto del pluralismo, dialogando desde y más allá de las culturas locales, e interconectando la reflexión académica para que no esté dominada solamente por el paradigma noroccidental.
El congreso contará con la presencia y auspicio de diferentes instituciones académicas y sociales del continente y en particular del Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM). La presencia del CELAM, reflejo de la tradición de colegialidad de los Obispos de la Iglesia Latinoamericana, es un signo de estos nuevos tiempos inaugurados por el Papa Francisco que son también constitutivos de la identidad la CTEWC.
La selección de los ponentes y temáticas refleja un nuevo liderazgo en la reflexión ética sobre los retos más sobresalientes de nuestra era, en la realidad particular de nuestro continente. Diferentes eticistas expondrán la situación particular de su país y la manera particular en que la ética católica puede ofrecer respuestas y posibilidades.
Los retos para la Ética en nuestro continente
Pareciera que el proceso vertiginoso de globalización que vive el mundo no deja lugar ni tiempo para preocupaciones o reflexiones morales. Sin embargo, el creciente abismo que contrasta el bienestar y la riqueza de que gozan los habitantes de los países prósperos con las penurias y pobreza que sufren los de los países del mundo en desarrollo, golpean la conciencia de la Humanidad.
Por otra parte, el desarrollo no puede ser concebido simplemente como un mero proceso de crecimiento económico, sino de desarrollo integral de todos y cada uno de los seres humanos, "de todo el Hombre y todos los Hombres"[1] -, que regenere también el medio ambiente en lugar de destruirlo, y que fomente la solidaridad entre las personas en lugar de aislarlas y marginarlas.
A la mano invisible del mercado hay que agregar la mano de la Justicia y la mano de la solidaridad, conciliando el desarrollo con la ética, superando el individualismo y buscando el bien común por sobre cualquier otra clase de intereses.
Por tanto, los tres ejes que se plantean como retos actuales a la reflexión ética en nuestro continente giran en torno a: la Pobreza, la Desigualdad y la Exclusión. En concreto, podríamos pensar algunas dimensiones para la reflexión sobre estos ejes, que podrán ser abordados desde el campo de la ética teológica, a saber:
  • Repensar la familia. Es una institución reconocida unánimemente como pilar de la sociedad, base del desarrollo personal, refugio afectivo y formadora de los valores. De gran peso en el desempeño institucional y macroeconómico de los países, hoy está seriamente amenazada en la región por el avance de la pobreza y el narcotráfico, y por la proliferación "de una cultura consumista y del descarte"[2]. Aparecen también nuevas formas de familia que no "encajan" en los patrones conocidos y tradicionales, a las cuales la Iglesia tiene el reto de integrar y acoger. Lo mismo sucede con el renovado protagonismo de la Mujer y la necesidad del respeto y promoción de su dignidad de Persona, lo cual es un enorme reto ético en el contexto de una sociedad patriarcal, machista y hedonista.
 
  • La educación como capital ético y social. Reducir la pobreza juvenil y mejorar los niveles de educación es una deuda ética. Hay demasiado sufrimiento, exclusión y postergación de niños, jóvenes y familias, lo cual es moralmente inadmisible. Son enormes las posibilidades de aporte de la Educación a la reducción de la desigualdad. Es una de las formas de capital social, un recurso formidable latente en la sociedad que al mismo tiempo la impregna de solidaridad y de valores éticos.La elevación de la educación supone - además de mejorar el rendimiento estrictamente escolar -, la necesidad de un reencuentro entre la realidad ética y social con la realidad educativa.
 
  • El crimen organizado y la inseguridad. Uno de los costos más visibles y duros de la pobreza es el aumento incesante de los índices de criminalidad, de la mano del deterioro social. En muchos casos, el narcotráfico se sirve de estas condiciones para ofrecer a los jóvenes una salida fácil a su situación de exclusión, sea reclutándolos como mano de obra barata para el crimen o bien transformándolos en consumidores, sin duda una vía de escape frente a un escenario de disgregación insoportable, en el cual también está en jaque el poder del Estado para ejercer soberanía en su propio territorio.
 
  • La necesidad de políticas de carácter Subsidiario. Si los países de la región contaran con políticas sociales integrales, cohesionadas, descentralizadas, cogestionadas con la sociedad civil, participativas, transparentes e inspiradas bajo el principio de la Subsidiariedad[3], esas políticas podrían transformarse en medios efectivos de movilización productiva e integración social. Sin embargo, ese camino está dificultado, entre otros planos, por percepciones erróneas sobre el rol ético del Estado, la Sociedad Civil y las propias potencialidades de la política social.
  • La condena social e institucional de la corrupción. Recursos millonarios son extraídos de los países a través de prácticas que violan la ética y las leyes. La corrupción, es uno de los canales principales multiplicadores de la desigualdad y el crimen. Afecta regresivamente la composición del gasto público, los niveles de inversión, el crecimiento económico y el funcionamiento democrático. Sin embargo, pareciera no haber una condena social de la corrupción, la cual es vista en muchos casos como un "daño colateral" del proceso de mejoramiento de la calidad de vida, o como un mal endémico - cuando no "genético" de nuestras sociedades - sin solución por la inacción y complicidad de ciertos actores institucionales públicos.
 
  • La importancia de la Participación y la Solidaridad. Frente al mito que desvaloriza a los pobres y se autocumple al profundizar su exclusión, surge la posibilidad de una política activa que otorgue poder a sus comunidades y organizaciones. Una vigorosa participación comunitaria ha sido la característica de la mayoría de los programas sociales exitosos en la región, logrando una legitimidad ética fundada en la Participación y la Solidaridad. Los valores y los aspectos éticos compartidos e internalizados constituyen así nuevos principios orientadores del comportamiento de las personas para la participación y organización comunitaria.
 
  • Una mirada ética sobre la globalización. El desarrollo de nuestros países requiere inversión, tecnología y mercados internacionales y todo ello se refiere a factores exógenos que, en buena parte, no están bajo nuestro control, sino que forman parte de un proceso de globalización financiera y económica que, como señalara Benedicto XVI[4], requiere de una profunda revisión ética.
 
  • La Creación como centro de la nueva cuestión social. Hay una íntima conexión entre lo que el Hombre produce y lo que el Hombre es. Al degradarse el Hombre, se degrada la Naturaleza, así como se contamina la naturaleza, también se contamina el alma y el corazón. La crisis medioambiental es una sola (y compleja) [5], íntimamente ligada también a un particular modo de desarrollo propio de nuestro continente, que requiere una mirada y perspectiva ética.
Frente a estos retos y desafíos nos encontramos con una sociedad que demanda por más democracia y participación, y con una novedosa "sed de ética", que puede ser iluminada desde la reflexión Ética y de la Enseñanza Social de la Iglesia.
Por tanto este Congreso de 2016 no se presenta como el 'final' de un camino, sino como la gran oportunidad de ampliar la mirada y la reflexión, de profundizar la comunicación, de formar relaciones, y establecer proyectos para abordar estos retos como signo profético y esperanzado para toda la Iglesia.
A tan sólo un mes del inicio de este primer Congreso continental de eticistas, convocados bajo el lema "Hacia una Ética de Participación y Esperanza", ya se palpita que este evento sin precedentes será con toda seguridad una cita con la Historia.


[1] Populorum Progressio nº 14 (S.S. Pablo VI).
[2] Evangelii Gaudium nº 53 (S.S. Francisco).
[3] Centesimus Annus nº 48 (S.S. San Juan Pablo II).
[4] Caritas in Veritate nº 9 (S.S. Benedicto XVI).
[5] Laudato SI nº 63 (S.S. Francisco).

Featured Forum Articles:

Peter Knox, S.J., Business and Environment
Mary M. Doyle Roche, "Dear Colleague"
Report From Europe
By: Roman Globokar

 Report from two events
Inocent-Mária V. Szaniszló OP, Vicerector of Danubius University in Sládkovicovo, Slovakia, sent a report from the Annual Conference of Institute of Ethics, held on May 12, 2016. They had a very successful international scientific conference entitled »Responsibility and Conscience in helping Professions«. It was an opportunity to share views from different European countries (Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Slovakia and Czech Republic). This exceptional meeting created a solid basis for the future dialogue in the field of professional ethics in Slovakia.



Eberhard Schockenhoff during his lecture at Danubius University in Slovakia.

A Summer school on "BIOETHICS AND POLITICS: CONFRONTATION WITH TOPICAL ISSUES" took place at the Theological Faculty of the University Ljubljana from 16 to 21 May, 2016. This summer school was part of the CEEPUS network "Bioethics" that brings together moral theologians from Middle and East Europe and is led by Prof. Sigrid Müller from the University of Vienna. The main object of the project "Bioethics" is to intensify cooperation between different faculties in Middle and East Europe and to encourage the exchange of PhD students and advanced Master's Students. The students came from Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. The Summer school in Ljubljana was coordinated by Roman Globokar and sought to promote a broad view of bioethics by collecting special knowledge of bioethical issues in confrontation with politics. Prof. Gerhard Marschütz from the University of Vienna had the main contribution. Various teachers from the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Ljubljana and the Chair of National Bioethical Committee also collaborated in the program. The participants visited the Slovenian Parliament and the Office of the EU Parliament in Ljubljana and learnt from the first hand about the actual bioethical issues in the politics. 


Participants of the Summer school "Bioethics and Politics" in Ljubljana, Slovenia
 
Invitation to two conferences:
Societas Ethica, August 18 - 21
The Annual Conference of the Societas Ethica will take place from 18 August 2016 to 21 August 2016 at  Evangelische Akademie in Bad Boll in Germany. The title of the conference is Ethics and Law.
Information about payment, travel, and accommodation as well as keynote speakers and other details are available at the conference page at the Societas Ethica's website: http://www.societasethica.info/
Please register for the conference here!
If you have any questions, please contact:  smorgan2@luc.edu
 
Anthoropos, September 15 - 17
From 15th to 17th of September 2016, Anthropos research group (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven) will organize a conference on the following theme: Relation, Vulnerability, Love.
Relation, vulnerability, love are three concepts we consider important for a theological anthropology in the 21st century. Moreover, it is a trilogy we read in crescendo. That is, the primacy of relationality leads us to understand vulnerability as a universal human condition that is the condition of possibility for both suffering and flourishing. Love is the Christian notion that indicates the deepest reality of such relationality and vulnerability as well as its eschatological destiny. A central concern is that these three notions not only indicate or characterize the content of theological anthropology but also have implications for how theological anthropology is to be done.
The conference will be hosted in Leuven, Belgium.
Keynote speakers are:
- Michael Banner (University of Cambridge, UK)
 - Luigino Bruni (LUMSA University, Italy)
- Elizabeth O'Donnell Gandolfo (Wake Forrest University, US)
- Jan-Olav Henriksen (Norwegian School of Theology, Norway)
- Wonhee Anne Joh (Garrett - Evangelical Theological Seminary, US)
For more information and registration, see: https://relationvulnerabilitylove2016.wordpress.com/
 
Information about Catherine of Siena College (submitted by Dr Susanna Snyder)
Catherine of Siena College (CSC) has recently relocated to the University of Roehampton in London. It is now offering a range of online courses in theology, gender studies and social justice with a particular focus on attracting students from the global South.
The College was established in 2007 by a group of scholars with the aim of promoting social justice and gender awareness through online higher education. In 2014 the trustees approached the University of Roehampton with a view to establishing an academic base to secure the long-term future of the College and to provide academic oversight and quality assurance for its courses and management. The College was fully incorporated into the University of Roehampton as part of its Department of Humanities early in 2016, with Professor Tina Beattie as Director and Dr Susanna Snyder as Assistant Director. Dr Snyder is responsible for the overall management, curriculum design and development of the College.
CSC's work is focused on providing online courses-including 6-week short courses (not for credit), and 12-week undergraduate modules validated by the University of Roehampton. The courses are designed to meet the educational and vocational needs of those who work for social justice through the promotion of women's agency and leadership in their local communities, churches, workplaces and broader society.
In Spring 2016, the College piloted two short courses-Women and the Catholic Church and Migration Matters-which attracted 18 and 15 students respectively from around the world, and received excellent reviews. Student comments included, "Excellent! Thank you for providing this resource for us. I look forward to taking more!"; "a great sense of community was evident"; and "This course has confirmed in me the desire to be compassionate, to listen and appreciate difference; maybe, also, to be clear in my own thinking and present it without fear."
Six-week courses on offer in 2016-2017 include:
  • Violence against Women: War, the Domestic Sphere, and Religion
  • Spirituality and Social Action
  • Understanding Gender
  • Women, Faith, and Community Development
  • Women, Leadership, and Ministry
  • Migration Matters
The courses are designed and taught by an international team of academics who are specialists in their subject areas. Each course costs £150, but full or partial bursaries are available through the Society of the Sacred Heart bursary fund. It is hoped to begin introducing validated, 12-week modules from January 2017.
The College is keen to develop partnerships with other educational institutions, religious orders and NGOs. We are currently in negotiation with several potential ecumenical partners and academic institutions, and we welcome approaches from potential partner organizations. For further information and to discuss possibilities, please contact Susanna Snyder at susanna.snyder@roehampton.ac.uk.
To find out more about the College and to download a brochure, please visit the Catherine of Siena College website.

 

Regional News
Dr. Susanna Snyder

 
 Catherine of Siena College (CSC) has recently relocated to the University of Roehampton in London. It is now offering a range of online courses in theology, gender studies and social justice with a particular focus on attracting students from the global South.
 
The College was established in 2007 by a group of scholars with the aim of promoting social justice and gender awareness through online higher education. In 2014 the trustees approached the University of Roehampton with a view to establishing an academic base to secure the long-term future of the College and to provide academic oversight and quality assurance for its courses and management. The College was fully incorporated into the University of Roehampton as part of its Department of Humanities early in 2016, with Professor Tina Beattie as Director and Dr Susanna Snyder as Assistant Director. Dr Snyder is responsible for the overall management, curriculum design and development of the College.
 
CSC's work is focused on providing online courses-including 6-week short courses (not for credit), and 12-week undergraduate modules validated by the University of Roehampton. The courses are designed to meet the educational and vocational needs of those who work for social justice through the promotion of women's agency and leadership in their local communities, churches, workplaces and broader society.
 
In Spring 2016, the College piloted two short courses-Women and the Catholic Church and Migration Matters-which attracted 18 and 15 students respectively from around the world, and received excellent reviews. Student comments included, "Excellent! Thank you for providing this resource for us. I look forward to taking more!"; "a great sense of community was evident"; and "This course has confirmed in me the desire to be compassionate, to listen and appreciate difference; maybe, also, to be clear in my own thinking and present it without fear."
 
Six-week courses on offer in 2016-2017 include:
 
  • Violence against Women: War, the Domestic Sphere, and Religion
  • Spirituality and Social Action
  • Understanding Gender
  • Women, Faith, and Community Development
  • Women, Leadership, and Ministry
  • Migration Matters
 
The courses are designed and taught by an international team of academics who are specialists in their subject areas. Each course costs £150, but full or partial bursaries are available through the Society of the Sacred Heart bursary fund. It is hoped to begin introducing validated, 12-week modules from January 2017.
 
The College is keen to develop partnerships with other educational institutions, religious orders and NGOs. We are currently in negotiation with several potential ecumenical partners and academic institutions, and we welcome approaches from potential partner organizations. For further information and to discuss possibilities, please contact Susanna Snyder at susanna.snyder@roehampton.ac.uk.
 
To find out more about the College and to download a brochure, please visit the Catherine of Siena College website.
New Publication
 Tina Beattie, Theology after Postmodernity: Divining the Void--A Lacanian Reading of Thomas Aquinas: available through all good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press

Announcing a new magazine on Bioethics:
REVISTA IBEROAMERICANA DE BIOÉTICA
 





Call For Papers
Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology
Vol. 10, No. 3, September 2016
Call for Papers
ASIAN CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
Christianity had its origin in Asia. In the first Millennium, Asia was the Centre of Christianity. Though Rome became the centre of Western Christianity and the See of the Papacy, all other major centres of the Church were in Asia; all the important Ecumenical Councils of the first Millennium took place in Asia; all the major doctrines were formulated in the Asian centres; most of the important theological schools were in Asia. September 2016 issue of Asian Horizons focuses mainly on the early history of indigenous Christianity in Asia. However, how this heritage continued to evolve also could be explored. Besides, how Christianity in Asia developed in dialogue with other Asian religions could be reflected upon.
Suggested Topics (only recommendations, not exhaustive):
- Indigenous Christianity in Asia
- Asian/Eastern Churches [Could be on a particular Church]
- Jewish Christianity
- Hellenistic Churches
- Syrian Churches
- Eastern Orthodox Churches
- Persian Church
- Missionary Expansion of the Nestorian Church
- Influence of Other Asian Religions on Christianity [could be also on the influence of any particular religion]
- Asian Church's Contribution to the Western Churches
- Christianity in India
- Christianity in China [or any other Asian country]
- Colonization and Asian Churches
- Ancient Asian Churches and Inculturation
- Asian Churches: Search for Identity
As usual, we welcome other articles on any area of theological interest and research.
Please send your articles (4500-5000 words, including the footnotes) at the latest by 30 August 2016. Kindly include the abstract of the article in 150-200 words, 5-7 Keywords and a summary of the CV of the author in 100-150 words.
Other regular items: "New Scholars": Abstract of doctoral theses (recently defended and not yet published); book reviews.
For submitting the articles and for more details: Shaji George Kochuthara (editor-in-chief): kochuthshaji@gmail.com
N.B. Kindly forward this to your friends and colleagues.
[Asian Horizons, published from DVK, is a forum for theological reflection in the Asian context marked by economic poverty, cultural diversity and religious plurality. Although the focus is on theological reflection in the context of Asia, we also address theological developments and concerns of the universal Church and try to dialogue with the Church in various contexts. Hence we welcome authors from all over the world. Asian Horizons was launched in 2007 as a biannual. From 2011 it is published as a quarterly. We have an editorial board consisting of members from India, other Asian countries and other continents.]
Asian Horizons, Dharmaram Journal of Theology
Themes: 2016
2016: Vol. 10
March: Ethics, Theology and Technology
June: Asia's Women Theologians
September: Asian Christian Heritage
December: Conscience

Save The Date: 
The 42
nd Association for Moral Education Annual Conference
December 8-11, 2016

Hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, USA, December 8 through 11, 2016. In partnership with Tufts University. 
Conference website:  http://ameconference2016.org 

The Conference theme will be: Civic engagement: a cultural revolution? The expanding definitions of 'civic' participation, their intersections with ethics, and the implications for education.

The challenges and innovations in civic engagement in and beyond formal education are gaining worldwide attention, as has become increasingly evident in recent AME meetings.  There are interesting links, synergies and dialogues among civics, ethics and moral development, including the significance of new media.


We are delighted to announce that the Kohlberg Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Danielle Allen. Danielle Allen is Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and professor in Harvard's Department of Government and Graduate School of Education. She is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship, and recently on civic and social media, Dr Allen is the author of numerous books. She ia member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.


There will also be plenary sessions on the theme of the Conference with contributions from distinguished international scholars in the field




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