Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture <p>Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture wishes to promote academic research inspired by a Culture of Unity, with particular attention to the thought of Chiara Lubich, and to the dialogues and initiatives of the Focolare Movement. It is promoted by the Sophia University Institute (Florence, Italy: <a href=""></a>). It is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, online/open access academic journal. Claritas also seeks to facilitate critical and constructive dialogue between scholars from all research disciplines and encourages cross-disciplinary and intercultural collaboration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Note:&nbsp;Purdue University Press published&nbsp;<em><a title="" href="" rel="noopener noreferrer">Claritas&nbsp;</a></em>from 2012 until 2019, when the journal moved to Sophia University Institute.&nbsp;Back content is covered under the CC BY-NC-ND license.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> en-US (Declan O'Byrne) Fri, 22 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 Editorial <p>The current issue of Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture reserves generous room for an article by Fabio Ciardi, a long-time member of the Abba School, a group of experts from various disciplines who collaborated with Chiara Lubich from 1990 until 2008 in the study of her mystical text, Paradise ’49. The article that we publish here first appeared as a series in the Italian publication Città Nuova and is meant to offer a nonspecialist introduction to Paradise ’49, which is being prepared for publication both in Italian and in a number of translations, including English. The published text will present the fruit of the Abbà School’s editorial work in assembling and ordering Chiara Lubich’s writings from the period between 1949 and 1951 and will contain valuable indications as to the dating of various fragments of texts and the order that Lubich intended. The basic structure of Paradise ’49, following Lubich’s indications, is a series of paragraphs numbered 1 through 1,724. In his article, Ciardi decided to omit reference to the numbered paragraphs, and Claritas has opted to leave his article as originally published, without reference to paragraph numbers. Ciardi desires instead to foreground the aesthetic qualities of Lubich’s text, and in this context, paragraph references would burden his treatment. For Ciardi, the experience of reading Paradise ’49 is analogous to that of a traveler discovering a constantly shifting terrain. The result is a unique overview of the main movements in Lubich’s text and is the only general introduction to Paradise ’49 currently available in English. Ciardi’s article will provide a broad framework for more specialized treatments of Paradise ’49 that Claritas intends to host in future issues, especially in view of the publication of the English translation.</p> Claritas Editor Copyright (c) 2019 Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture Tue, 26 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Traveling Paradise <p>This article presents an overview of Chiara Lubich’s mystical text of Paradise ’49 in twelve stages. Using the image of a journey by airplane, it presents some of the main themes and movements within Lubich’s text, highlighting the aesthetic qualities of the text and the fresh vision of humanity in God that it offers. Each of the twelve parts of this article concludes with a quotation and a brief comment intended to give the reader a taste of Lubich’s Paradise. The translation is by Conrad R. Sciberras.</p> Fabio Ciardi Copyright (c) 2019 Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture Tue, 26 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Revealed Religion’s Vital Contribution to the Epoch-Making Newness of a Culture of Unity <p>The author writes: “In memory of Bishop Pietro Rossano, that unforgettable and wise teacher in the past and in the present, about dialogue among religions, this article offers the text of a lecture titled ‘Unity of God, Unity in God.’ The lecture was part of a course organized by Sophia University Institute in Loppiano and the Islamic Centre of England in London with twenty Catholic university students and an equal number of Muslims. It was held at Tonadico (Trent) in September 2017. Among other things, I was inspired by the following affirmation of Bishop Rossano; it is like the hidden thread running through the thought I develop here. what writes that we need to express “the interpersonal relationship peculiar to the Christian faith, a relationship inviting subjects into a new relationship with God and their brothers or sisters in a form transcending the orbit of all religions because it is anchored in the mystery of the uni-triune God which humanity shares in Jesus Christ. Far from destroying the preceding religious heritage, this new rapport purifies and expands this heritage to formerly unknown horizons” (Il problema teologico delle religioni, Ed. Paoline, 1975, 46).</p> Piero Coda Copyright (c) 2019 Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture Mon, 25 May 2020 07:47:27 +0000 Naomi Shihab Nye: A Border-Crossing Voice <p>The author writes: Acknowledging her Palestinian and American origins, Naomi Shihab Nye (1952–) once said: “I didn’t fear differences. In fact, I loved them. This is one of the best things about growing up in a mixed family or community.” 1 Being born to a Palestinian father and an American mother, she came to be multiculturally oriented. For the past decades, Nye has gained great recognition for her poetry and prose writings about cultural differences, heritage, and peace. Her wide and multiple perspectives of a world of various ethnic traditions were crucial not only to her poetic groundwork for a new network of human relations but also to her interest in the multifaceted identities of people. It is the purpose of this article to explore Nye’s poetic voice that pursues to cross the cultural divide, arguing that the poet’s Arab-American lineage is the very means by which to implement a language of communion, not a language of division.</p> Anan Alkass Yousif Copyright (c) 2019 Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture Mon, 25 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000 The Forsaken Jesus and the Black Sun of Atheism <p>This article begins with a presentation of the thought of French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, who characterizes contemporary thinking as a gravitational movement around the “black sun” of atheism. Although he is an atheist himself, his project is to find an opening from within atheism that will allow contemporary thought to break free of the gravitational force of unbelief that keeps us locked into a post-Enlightenment nihilistic worldview. The article presents Nancy’s turn to Christianity and his intuition that the deconstruction of Christian realities such as “creation,” “ faith,” and “prayer” can provide a way out of our current dilemma. In the second part of the article, the author suggests that the figure of the forsaken Jesus may contain the very escape from nihilistic darkness that Nancy is searching for. A variety of texts from authors such as Albert Camus, G. K. Chesterton, and Samuel Beckett, poems by William Cowper and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and the writings of Chiara Lubich are presented to illustrate how the forsaken Jesus can be seen as underlying different symbolic expressions of the depth of human suffering, the sense of the absence of God, and the hope that emanates from crucified love.</p> Robert Young Copyright (c) 2019 Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture Mon, 25 May 2020 07:55:35 +0000 Kody W. Cooper, Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2018). <p>Challenging the widely held view that Hobbes is an atheist, Kody W. Cooper claims that Hobbes’s political theory is rooted inextricably in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition of natural law. While there are clear departures from the Thomistic tradition in Hobbes’s civil philosophy, Cooper suggests that Hobbes is not advancing an a-religious, a-theistic political theory but is working consciously in the Thomistic-Aristotelian paradigm of natural law, a paradigm from which his own view emerges by way of modification. What is novel in Hobbes’s view, according to Cooper, is not the rejection of the Aristotelian-Thomistic belief that human person is a political animal, not the incapacity of reason to discover a common good, and not the assertion that the commonwealth, as the constructive effort of persons, is thereby independent of theistic design. The novelty, in Cooper’s view, is that Hobbes thins out the essential core of goods that Aquinas takes to be common to all human beings—which include bodily life and health, family and childrearing, friendship, knowledge, and religion—to bodily life and health alone (110, 112). Working within this modified Thomistic perspective, Hobbes then attaches to the pursuit of bodily security, via the laws of nature, as the compelling commands of God, the necessity of willing peace and reciprocity. The thrust of Cooper’s argument is that once recognized as working in a stripped-down, natural law paradigm, interpretive difficulties dissolve, and Hobbes’s theism emerges as an integral part of his political theory.</p> Jackson Sawatzky Copyright (c) 2019 Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture Tue, 26 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000