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1. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Dr. Jeff Gingerich, Dr. Nicholas Rademacher Editors’ Introduction
2. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire Scaling the Walls of Injustice
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There are many obstacles to the right relationships which must exist wherever people gather and interconnect if justice is to prevail. One such barrier pertains to the naming of evil or a lesser good as a good to be achieved. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola speak of “evil presented under the guise of good.” Another such obstacle is the closure of one’s mind in a self-referential way. There is little or no humble openness to search for the truth of what is good for people and for the earth. A third wall is the breakdown of genuine dialogue. A tribal mentality views others as the enemy with nothing significant to offer. As a Church and as individual members we are challenged to overcome and remove any barrier by building right relationships. With God we can break through any barrier; with God we can scale any wall (Ps.18:30).
3. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS Catholic Social Justice and NETWORK’s Political Ministry
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After more than forty-five years educating, organizing, and lobbying on Capitol Hill, NETWORK has come to know that the fullest understanding of Catholic Social Justice is in the contemplative moment of reflecting on lived experience and the stories of those around us. Catholic Social Justice is grounded in understanding of the scripture, the documents of Catholic Social Teaching, the teachings of popes and bishops on social issues, and the reality of lived experience. In effect, Catholic Social Justice allows a person to live out a “political ministry”—to be attentive to the needs of people who are suffering and have their voices heard by people in power, as well as minister to those in power who are frequently more lonely and burdened by their position than it would appear. With Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, at the helm, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice has grounded their Catholic Social Justice ministry in faith teaching, in contemplation, and in concern for the needs of all, from people at the margins of society to those in power.
4. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Dr. Kim Lamberty Preferential Option for the Poor Reconsidered
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This article contends that churches in the United States have in large measure inter­preted the principle of preferential option for the poor in a way that bestows more benefits on the wealthy than on the poor. In support of that contention, the author examines the original meaning of the option for the poor principle, which has its roots in the reflections of theologians working in poverty-stricken contexts. She briefly surveys the work of Gustavo Gutierrez and Jon Sobrino—two theologians who have led Church thinking on poverty—and then suggests a revised praxis of preferential option for the poor for Catholics in the United States.
5. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Giulia McPherson Defending the Rights of Refugees: A Catholic Cause
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Globally, the number of people forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution has reached a record high of more than 65 million. Catholic Social Teaching presents a framework through which this critical issue of our time can be addressed. A close examination of the Gospel, Papal teachings, and the example of Pope Francis himself, demonstrate that we are called to welcome the stranger in whatever form that may take. Whether through direct service and advocacy by organizations like Jesuit Refugee Service, or through personal reflection, each of us is called to take action.
6. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Thomas Mulloy, MSSA, LSW Applying Catholic Social Teaching on Labor to Everyday Life to Advance the Work of Economic Justice
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The erosion of the quantity and quality of decent work in the American economy has had profound impact on low-income families and communities. The causes of the shift are misunderstood, and the consequences are underappreciated, but Catholic Social Teaching on Labor can provide clarity. A renewed commitment its application in some aspects of everyday life can provide Catholics with a new appreciation for the challenges faced by vulnerable people. A number of strategies to do this are considered.
7. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Sister Helene O’Sullivan, MM The Prophetic Voice of the Church in the Context of Evolutionary Consciousness
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According to the author of this article, Catholic Social Teaching is the prophetic voice of the Church. As such it needs to be reframed for today’s world within the emerging worldview of integral consciousness. Our personal and collective consciousness (often referred to as our culture) evolve in identifiable stages towards more inclusive, cooperative and caring behavior. Integral consciousness enables greater adaptability, agency and the ability to solve more complex global problems. In order to move from a fractured world to wholeness we must come together around a vision of the One Earth Community. The article concludes with six thoughts on how to live into the deeper consciousness necessary for working for social justice.
8. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Kathy Saile, MSW The Vocation
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Everyone has a vocation to which God is calling them. This vocation reflects the skills and passion of the individual. A vocation is not a specific job or career and needs to be discerned through prayer and reflection. In addition, one needs to form one’s conscience. The process of discernment and forming one’s conscience needs to occur throughout one’s lifetime. The author explores the process by sharing her own journey of discerning her vocation as a practitioner of Catholic Social Teaching. Through the forming of her conscience and through prayer, she has lived out this vocation working both for the institutional Church and for secular organizations with a focus on social justice, domestic poverty and public policy.
9. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
William J. Byron, S.J. Response and Reflections on More to Come
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This article provides a summary overview of the essays that constitute the inaugural issue of Praxis. I also add an extended topical agenda for future work on Catholic Social Thought, pointing out concerns hat have received insufficient attention in the past.
10. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Stephen L. Gardner Modernity as Revelation
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The notion of apocalypse is the unifying architecture of Rene Girard’s theory of history. The terrible paradox that motivates Girard is the inner affinity between Apocalypse and Enlightenment, progress and the disintegration of stable order, revelation and violence. In this essay, I look at three dimensions of Girard’s vision of the “end of history”: The first is the rise of “victimology” and its idioms in Western culture (and now their globalization) since the end of World War II, signaling the collapse of Western ethics through their own truth. The second is Girard’s image of the end of history in terms of the “return of the archaic,” a relapse into the chaos of the evolutionary beginnings of the human at the summit of cultural achievement. As moral distinctions crumble, the polarities of political life become more brittle and violent. And the last is to indicate (however sketchily) Girard’s relation to a modern tradition of apocalyptic thought that includes Pascal andRousseau, Marx and Sartre, and Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. As with his recent appropriation of Carl von Clausewitz, he aims both to finish and to finish off this tradition by bringing it back to its Christian underpinnings.
11. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Wolfgang Palaver Terrorism versus Non-Violent Resistance
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The following article starts with the horror and terror that have been caused be recent terrorist attacks like the mass murder of 9/11 or the Norway massacre from 2011. From a Western perspective suicide terrorism is especially terrifying. In a first part of his article Palaver tries to show that suicide terrorism, despite our first reaction to it, is a rational phenomenon that has to be understood precisely in order to respond to this challenge properly. Drawing on the work of LouiseRichardson and other experts on terrorism he shows that traditional forms of military sacrifices that have forced people to die for their country is much closer to suicide terrorism than we think at first sight. By using René Girard’s mimetic theory, Palaver’s second part focuses on the complex relationship between religion and violence. He especially emphasizes the danger that follows the Abrahamic overcoming of the scapegoat mechanism – the Abrahamic revolution parting from the world of human sacrifice – if the solidarity with the victims is disconnected from forgiveness. In the third part Palaver turns to an alternative model of how we can respond to injustice and oppression by emphasizing a still often overlooked legacy of the Abrahamic tradition that avoids the dangers that characterizecontemporary terrorism. From this perspective, non-violence, forgiveness, and the love of enemies become important criteria for martyrdom and resistance.
12. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Jodok Troy The Power of the Zealots: Religion, Violence, and International Relations
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This article evaluates the issue of religion and conflict in international relations. René Girard’s mimetic theory offers explanations for basic problems of the ‘new world order’: why violence is a persistent pattern in human and political conduct as well as the understanding of religion and conflict. Therefore the article, after an assessment of framing religion and conflict in the context of theoretical approaches to political science, evaluates the possibilities of mimetic theory to provide a new understanding of the nexus of religion and conflict in international relations. It will do so in arguing for the hypothesis that the mimetic theory provides insights to the interplay of the evolving of power as it is described by the Realist tradition of international relations. The power of the ‘zealots,’ is the power of mimetic desire, which always threatens to bring people apart.
13. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Mathias Moosbrugger René Girard and Raymund Schwager on Religion, Violence, and Sacrifice: New Insights from Their Correspondence
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This article shows, that despite their different academic backgrounds and even before having met, cultural anthropologist René Girard and theologian Raymund Schwager had surprisingly similar convictions concerning the decisive dynamics in interpersonal relations and the problematic field of collective violence and its connection to the logic of sacrifice. Nevertheless, they differed in their applications of these convictions when it came to appraising the specific character of theJudeo-Christian revelation and the Christ event. Therefore, for several years, they had an intense discussion about this issue. This discussion, which Girardians regard as the source of Girard’s most important re-evaluation of his thinking, is reconstructed using material from their letter exchange. It is argued that this discussion was quite different from what it is usually believed to have been like.
14. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Wilhelm Guggenberger Taming Violence
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To René Girard, religion is not a source of violence but rather one of the most widespread means to reduce violence. It even preserved archaic societies from self-destruction and worked in the same mode for most of history. The article tries to depict this mechanism and to explain its paradoxical nature, which is the taming of violence by violent means. Further on, functional equivalents are shown, which become necessary because of the enlightenment triggered by the biblical revelation and other axial-age-dynamisms.
15. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Wilhelm Guggenberger, Wolfgang Palaver Special Issue: René Girard’s Mimetic Theory and its Contribution to the Study of Religion and Violence
16. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Nikolaus Wandinger Religion and Violence: A Girardian Overview
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René Girard’s mimetic theory sees mimesis as the most central determinant of human behavior. According to him it also generated so much violence that it threatened the very existence of humanity. Yet, the same force also found a means to minimize and contain violence—through religion. Girard distinguishes between archaic and Biblical religion and finds criteria for this distinction and the anthropology and theology of a religion. This article tries to give an overview of Girard’s theory with special consideration to the role of religion.
17. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Aaron Ricker Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich. Eric Kurlander
18. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Massimo Introvigne Introduction—New Religious Movements and Violence: A Typology
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This issue of the JRV is dedicated to case studies illustrating the multiple relationships between new religious movements and violence. In this introduction, I propose a typological investigation of these relationships, distinguishing between acts of violence really perpetrated by NRMs—against their own members, opponents and critics, rival religionists, and the State or society at large—and episodes of violence of which the NRMs are the victims. Finally, I also propose a typology of acts of violence ascribed to NRMs, but of which they are in fact innocent, as the crimes are either imaginary, are not really “crimes,” or have been perpetrated by others, including the public authorities themselves.
19. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
James Bonk Guan Yu: The Religious Life of a Failed Hero. Barend J. ter Haar
20. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Carla Sulzbach The Many Deaths of Jew Süss: The Notorious Trial and Execution of an Eighteenth-Century Court Jew. Yair Mintzker