Living with Diversity

(2014/1) Editor(s): Solange Lefebvre(c), Gandhar Chakravarty, Denise Couture
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Articles of the issue

Solidarity and justice reconsidered

Abstract: Hille Haker

Starting with the unfortunate lack of a place for solidarity in the 21st century interpretation of ‘market justice’, Hille Haker’s who is teaching in the United States spells out the alternative path, namely the dialectic of justice and solidarity. While justice emphasizes the ‘equality’ of all, solidarity emphasizes ‘difference’ and ‘diversity.’ The bridge between the two concepts may be found in recent re-interpretations of recognition theory that embrace the personal, the social, and the political sphere.The article insists, however, on a critical approach that takes misrecognition, rather than recognition, as its starting point. Ethics, in general, and Christian ethics, in particular, needs to attend to the experiences and narratives of those who are invisible and inaudible in approaches to justice based on merit and achievement, in order to identify violations of their rights as well as practices of stigmatization. Starting with experiences of injustice rather than with the normative theory of justice, the dialectic relation between justice and solidarity becomes clear: solidarity reveals not only the gap between theory and practice or the necessarily blindside of justice, but it also takes a clear stance in favour of those who suffer from injustice. Solidarity is action-oriented, seeking to force institutions to become just, while advocating change for those who suffer most from injustice. On the other hand, the critical, but also partisan, solidarity needs the impartial, equalitarian perspective of justice as a critique of the potential ideology that is linked to any identity concept and identity politics.

Ethics of Integration

Abstract: Regina Ammicht Quinn

Why does integration – and this means: living in diverse societies, mainly in the West – so often fail? The text explores two lines of thought. One is concerned with a substructure of blindness and deafness in Western politics, blindness for postcolonial critique, deafness for the stories that result in “history”. The other investigates the concept of “culture” and the reframing of “culture” as “race”. European Enlightenment thought prepared the ground for notions and social practices of universalism and justice and shapes our moral instruments until today. At the same time, European Enlightenment gave birth to the concept of race. Today, we have to deal with this ambivalent foundation of (moral) thought: We rely on a concept of (Western) reason which enables science and society to classify, to sort. And to sort out. What are the tasks for on responsibilities of different “players”: politics, societies, sciences and religions?

Diversity, Recognition and Coexistence

Abstract: Felix Wilfred

This contribution shows how the project of Western modernity with its affirmation of the autonomy and  freedom of the individuals the regime of individual rights  and the ideology of  political liberalism has serious limitations, and may not be able to come to terms with the critical question of diversity, recognition and co-existence, so very crucial for today’s global world. The author goes on to show how the Asian, especially  South Asian, experiments with plurality and tolerance has theoretical and practical elements which provide a plausible framework to come to terms with the different other. The contribution concludes stating that in the context of the experience of diversity faced by Europe in the contemporary context of migration and xenophobia, it cannot confine itself to the legacy of Enlightenment, but has to draw from its Christian heritage to be able to meet the other in solidarity and compassion. The author proposes a fruitful conversation and dialogue among Christian, postmodern and Asian thought which can help to meet the global challenge of diversity and pluralism of our times.

Charismatic religion in brazil

Abstract: Maria Clara Bingemer

Dans le monde d’aujourd´hui, nous voyons, d’un côté, que de nombreuses personnes perdent le sens transcendantal de leurs vies et abandonnent les pratiques religieuses, et de l’autre côté, un nombre significatif de catholiques est en train d’abandonner l’Église pour entrer dans d’autres groupes religieux. Ce texte essaie d’examiner le « cas » brésilien. Nous prendrons comme cadre les chiffres fournis par le dernier recensement de 2010 sur le champ religieux au Brésil, récemment divulgué. Nous risquerons alors quelques interprétations à partir de ce recensement et finirons par identifier certains défis qui apparaissent pour la théologie et la pastorale au Brésil. Nous finirons notre réflexion par quelques observations sur les changements apportés par le nouveau pontificat du pape François, qui permettent d’espérer certains changements à court et moyen termes dans l’Église brésilienne et tout le continent latino-américain.

Latin America, Land of Many Colours

Resumo: Luiz Carlos Susin

O artigo constata em primeiro lugar as raízes ecológicas das culturas latino-americanas ainda vivamente vigentes. Examina alguns elementos comuns das culturas ancestrais, as culturas imperiais e sua violência. Examina depois como se acomodaram sob a hegemonia da cultura barroca colonial latino-americana formando assim um sincretismo de caráter xamanístico e mágico com dupla e ambígua relação: de contração e de síntese com a cultura barroca. Esta matriz cultural, cuja alma é a experiência religiosa, ganha novo florescimento e nova expansão de ordem pentecostal com o advento da modernidade em nossos dias. Finalmente, pergunta-se sobre como tratar pastoralmente esta riqueza multicolorida das culturas latino-americanas, sobretudo como discernir elementos contraditórios sincretizados.

Innovation, feminism and Interculturalism

Résumé: Denise Couture

Dans un temps où l’on cherche à vivre autrement la différence, sans une dévaluation de «l’autre», cet article présente des résultats d’une recherche réalisée sur le terrain à Montréal (Québec, Canada) dans le cadre de laquelle on a écouté le récit autobiographique spirituel de femmes féministes engagées dans des pratiques interculturelles ou interreligieuses. La recherche se situe dans le contexte canadien et québécois où des féministes antiracistes de la base distinguent différents groupes géopolitiques entre lesquelles se jouent des relations inégalitaires et postcoloniales, dont les Autochtones, les personnes immigrantes, les Anglais et les Français. Sur le plan théorique, le travail s’inscrit dans le champ d’une théologie féministe interculturelle et multireligieuse. On a écouté les récits de femmes qui appartiennent à diverses traditions religieuses ou spirituelles. Quelles stratégies mettent-elles en œuvre pour créer une justice relationnelle ? On a retenu quatre dimensions de leurs actions: la critique des hiérarchies pour instaurer l’égalité, un désapprentissage des propres préjugés, la construction d’une estime de soi qui intègre les histoires de souffrance de soi et des autres, et la force transformatrice du groupe d’affinité.

Canadian Churches and Colonialism

Abstract: Gregory Baum

This article explores a key issue in the Canadian context, the report of the Canadian First Peoples or Founding Peoples. He recalls that despite its multicultural rhetoric, colonialism, as sanctioned by the United Nations, is firmly established in Canada, even if the country’s dominant culture is largely unaware of it. The cultural consequences of this colonial regime have been devastating for the Canadian Aboriginals. Historically, locked into their reservations, often unable to engage in traditional hunting, the First Nations experienced the deterioration of their culture. Very recently, during the 1990’s, churches found their voices in the vital process of reconciliation, and one can find an implicit theology that deserves attention and further exploration in the multiple apologies and stories they elaborated.

Inter mirifica: Success or Failure?

Sommaire: Guy Marchessault,

Le décret Inter Mirifica souffrit d’avoir été présenté trop tôt au Concile, de sorte que les participants sentirent qu’il fallait le compléter par un document à valeur «conciliaire»: une Instruction pastorale, publiée en 1971. Le décret lui-même fut surtout perçu sous son approche moralisante. Toutefois, il demeure le premier témoin d’une reconnaissance de l’importance des communications en Église, de même que de l’apport des communicateurs chrétiens. Il eut peu d’effet immédiat sur les responsables pastoraux, parce que ces derniers se contentèrent de percevoir les médias comme des moyens utilitaires, négligeant le fait qu’ils se retrouvent dorénavant au cœur même des expressions culturelles contemporaines.

Some Remarks on Inter mirifica

Miguel Pereira

Inter mirifica in Asia

Franz-Josef Eilers

The Roman Curia in the Short Century

Enrico Galavotti