Catholic contributions to modern peacebuilding

GERARD POWERS

Some people say that Catholic Social Teaching is the Church’s Best Kept Secret. If that is true, Catholic peacebuilding may be Catholic Social Teaching’s Best Kept Secret. From South Sudan and Central America to Congo and Colombia, the Catholic Church is a powerful force for peace, freedom, justice and reconciliation. But that impressive and courageous peacebuilding work of the Catholic community is often unknown, unheralded and under-analyzed.

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Lessons for Interreligious Dialogue today

KARSTEN LEHMANN

I concluded my last post on Manila 1960 with two questions: Why did Manila 1960 take place under the peculiar circumstances described so far? And why did Manila 1960 remain a forgotten episode in the history of Interreligious Dialogue? Let me answer with two simple statements: Interreligious Dialogue is inseparable from the political field, and Manila 1960 was forgotten because a new religious elite rose to take control of Interreligious Dialogue.

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Interreligious Dialogue, too, can marginalize

KARSTEN LEHMANN

In my previous post on Manila 1960 as a forgotten yet fascinating chapter in the history of Interreligious Dialogue, I made a distinction between hagiography and unofficial history. In a way, I learned about the 1960 conference on “The Present Impact of the Great Religions of the World upon the Orient and the Occident” the “wrong” way around—by first getting acquainted with the unofficial story and only later with the somewhat more flattering self-portrait.

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Inequality, masculinity & modernity

M. CHRISTIAN GREEN

In the weeks and months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, speculation swirled over the attackers’ possible motivations. The pseudo-religious zeal of Mohammed Atta’s final letter to his comrades was only one aspect of it. Attention also centered on the attackers’ possible socioeconomic motivations. Theirs was not a problem of absolute poverty, of course, but of relative poverty. In their new environs, they could never quite fit in culturally—or perhaps religiously, morally, or spiritually—given the marginalization of immigrants that persists in many European countries even among immigrants who aspire to “assimilate.”

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Beyond state idolatry in Egypt

A. RASHIED OMAR

What we are currently witnessing in Egypt is a transformative moment that has been described by the pro-democracy demonstrators in the streets of Cairo as a “Tunisami”—a tsunami of social activism that first swept a despot in Tunisia from power and now in Egypt. The question on many people’s minds is: What comes next? I hope Egyptians will embrace a lesson citizens in my own South Africa have learned the hard way: beware the idolatry of the state.

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An unlikely conversation: a Catholic reaction to the CM Launch

DANIEL PHILPOTT

A college president who is a Catholic and a scholar of Islam cautions that a scholarly project on Catholicism and Islam should not ignore “rapture-ready Christians,” Sufi Muslims, or Christian women who have joined the “Women Aglow” movement. A woman who converted from Catholicism to Islam while a teenager, then became a scholar of Islam and wears a head scarf to boot, criticizes modernity for attacking family and community.

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