Ibero-American Conference of Theology
Scholars from Latin America, the Iberian peninsula, and the U.S. came together at Boston College in February for the Ibero-American Conference of Theology, a first-of-its-kind gathering of Hispanic theologians from three continents. STM sponsored the weeklong conference, which was held at Boston College’s Connors Center in Dover, Massachusetts, February 6–10.
Some 40 theologians attended the historic gathering, where they focused on globalization, migration, economic exclusion, and ways in which Catholic practice and theology complement Pope Francis’s vision of a “poor church for the poor,” according to event organizers. Delegates concluded that the Church should focus on economically excluded communities, eliminating inequality, and lifting up the world’s disadvantaged.
Papal delegates Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Bishop Raúl Biord Castillo, S.D.B., who attended the meeting, will present The Boston Declaration, a summary of the group’s key findings, to the pope, according STM visiting associate professors and conference co-organizers Rafael Luciani and Felix Palazzi.
Several conference participants took part in a February 8 public forum and panel discussion, “Present and Future of an Ibero-American Theology in Times of Globalization, Interculturality, and Exclusion,” in Robsham Theater. Juan Carlos Scannone, S.J. (pictured, center), a founder of the philosophy of the people and one-time Jesuit seminary instructor of Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis); Roberto Tomichá, O.F.M.Conv. (pictured, right), director of the Institute of Missiology of the Catholic University of Bolivia and visiting lecturer at the Faculty of San Bonaventura in Rome; and Olga Consuelo Vélez (pictured, left), member of the theology faculty at Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogotá, Colombia, took part in the discussion. STM Professor Thomas Groome, director of the Church in the 21st Century Center, moderated.
Boston College ranks fifth in global survey
Boston College ranks fifth among the world's top universities—and first among Catholic institutions—in Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies, a subject area of the 2017 QS World University Rankings, which were released on March 7.
“I'm delighted, though not entirely surprised, to learn of this ranking,” said STM Dean Thomas D. Stegman, S.J. “The School of Theology and Ministry takes learned ministry most seriously. Good theology undergirds effective ministry, which is reflected in this global ranking.”
Hybrid M.A. degree
Students can now complete STM’s 48-credit master of arts in theology and ministry degree program by taking a combination of on-campus and online courses throughout the calendar year.
Formación Continua at the STM
STM has launched a new continuing education program that offers Spanish-language courses in theology and religious formation free of charge and welcomes students in Boston and around the world. Formación Continua, which is housed within STM’s Continuing Education department, offers four- to eight-week courses on theological topics both online and on campus. With a goal of reaching ministers and others from around the world who want to learn more about their faith but may not otherwise have access to Spanish-language theological education, Formación Continua’s inaugural online course, “Aspectos teológicos y sociales del pontificado de Francisco,” drew more than 4,000 registrants in fall 2016. A spring course, “Apocalipsis—¿Terror o esperanza para la humanidad?” began on March 20 with more than 2,800 registered. STM visiting associate professors Rafael Luciani and Félix Palazzi (pictured, left and right) teach the courses.
Renowned Jesuit institutions and other theological training centers in Latin America and Spain promote and recognize the online courses. “People taking the courses receive high-quality formation and many dioceses benefit from this, since they do not have programs to offer continuing and updated religious and theological formation to their people,” says Luciani. “It is also a way to construct a network and collaboration between Jesuit universities and institutions worldwide.” Formación Continua will continue to offer courses in the late spring and during the summer, with plans to integrate other instructors from STM and Jesuit universities in Latin America and Spain.
Registration is now open for Summer at STM 2017. More than 300 lay and ordained students from around the world come each summer to study and learn at the School of Theology and Ministry, which offers a robust roster of on-campus courses on topics in theology, ministry, and education. This year’s summer program also includes introductory courses in Hebrew and Latin, a weeklong conference on health care chaplaincy, and an online course on Christology.
STM Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Richard J. Clifford, S.J., and Thomas Massaro, S.J., professor of moral theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, presented “Deepening Catholic Citizenship Today: Drawing from Scripture and Tradition” on March 9 in the Heights Room in Corcoran Commons. Organized in the wake of the 2016 campaign season and election, the lecture addressed a number of concerns regarding the dual identity of Catholics as committed believers and citizens.
Alumni profile: Alyssa Adreani
Alyssa Adreani, M.A. ’11, was profiled in a Boston Globe feature story, “Bringing mindfulness to ministry at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.” Adreani, who is interfaith chaplain and director of spiritual care at the hospital, introduced mindfulness and meditation programming for patients, staff, and volunteers. “It’s a neat way to offer spiritual care and support to the Newton-Wellesley community in a way that’s available to everybody,” she told the Globe.
“White Rose: Student Resistance to Hitler (1942–43)”
On view through March 31 in the Theology and Ministry Library, the White Rose exhibition depicts, through photographs and text, student resistance against Hitler in Munich during 1942–43. Organized by the White Rose Foundation, the traveling exhibit is sponsored by the Boston College Libraries in collaboration with the Consulate General of Germany to New England.
James T. Bretzke, S.J., published a scholarly review of Catholic Theological Ethics: Ancient Questions, Contemporary Responses by Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler in Theological Studies. He presented a workshop, “Navigating a Morally Complex World: Gender Identity Questions in the Contemporary Context of the Catholic Moral Tradition,” to the East Coast heads of schools and boards of trustees of the Network Schools of the Sacred Heart, and led a faculty in-service training on Catholic social teaching in the school context at Sacred Heart School.
André Brouillette, S.J., is a visiting scholar at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain, where he lectured on “Leer a Santa Teresa en clave teológica: desde la figura del lugar (en la Vida) hasta una teología soteriológica.’’
Franklin T. Harkins coedited A Companion to Job in the Middle Ages with Aaron Canty. The publication includes two of his essays: “From the Fiery Heaven to the Fire of Hell: Job in the Sentences Commentaries of Albert the Great, Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas” and “Christ and the Eternal Extent of Divine Providence in the Expositio super Iob ad litteram of Thomas Aquinas.”
Richard Lennan contributed “Tradition: God's Future, Our Past, and the Challenge of the Present” to Australasian Catholic Record.
Rafael Luciani published “El discernimiento de Jesús como pobre de Yahveh e hijo de la tierra” in Theologica Xaveriana. He also published two books, La Teología del Pueblo y el Papa Francisco (PPC, Madrid) and Retornar a Jesus de Nazaré: Conhecer Deus e o ser humano através da vida de Jesus (Vozes, Brasil).
Catherine M. Mooney has been appointed to the Committee on Slavery, Accountability, and Reconciliation of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Hosffman Ospino was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. Our Sunday Visitor published Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church / Escuelas católicas en una Iglesia cada vez más hispana, which Ospino coauthored with Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill. He lectured on “Hispanics and the Remapping of American Catholicism in the 21st Century: Reading the Signs of the Times” at the Fifth Annual Hispanic Innovators of the Faith Lecture at the Catholic University of America and presented “The Challenge of an Intercultural Ecclesiology in an Intercultural Context” at the Ibero-American Conference of Theology at Boston College. He also offered a number of ministerial keynotes at workshops and religious education congresses across the country.
Felix Palazzi published “Assumptio Beatae Mariae Virginis según Karl Rahner. Estudio de un texto controversial” in Ephemerides Mariologicae and “Pensar a Maria en la teología de Karl Rahner. Para una hermenéutica de las afirmaciones Marianas” in Ephemerides Mariologicae.
Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., published “Reflections on the Thirty-sixth Jesuit General Congregation” in The Pastoral Review. He delivered the annual Moreau Lectures at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and presented two workshops at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.
Andrea Vicini, S.J., published “L’astrobiologia e noi: Le implicazioni sociali e politiche di una scienza ‘nuova’ (Astrobiology and us: The social and political implications of a ‘new’ science)” in La Civiltà Cattolica. He also gave a lecture, “Engaging Emotions at the End of Life,” at the Boston College Theology Department Ethics Seminar.