Imagination and Faith :"updating Saint Ignatius..."
(Vatican Radio ) An International Colloquium on Jesuit Secondary Education (ICJSE)
is taking place in Boston spurred by the growing need to prepare students to actively
engage the world.
The five day meeting is supported by Father General Adolfo
Nicolas and the International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education and
focusses on the theme “The World is Our House”
Participants at the meeting
(who include Vatican Radio's Director General Father Federico Lombardi) are called
to address common challenges, share resources and strengthen the Jesuit educational
network while striving to maintain the Jesuit identity.
Meanwhile here in
Rome, just weeks before the start of the Colloquium, Vatican Radio's Veronica Scarisbrick
spoke to Jesuit father Paul Galllagher about his view of the role of the theologian
and about the relevance of his Order in the world today.
Jesuit Michael Paul
Gallagher went from being a lecturer in Modern Literature at University College, Dublin
to Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Veronica
began by asking if she might describe him as an imaginative theologian. "I hope",
he replied, "that might be true sometimes!" And when prompted further as to whether
this weren't a contradiction of terms he explained how theology mediates between culture
and revelation or religion and is essentially a service of mediation or translation.
So plenty of imagination is needed to do that because it's not just about the past
but about the present. And speaking of the present, Veronica discovered in the
course of this interview that Father Gallagher believes the founder of his Order needs
an update. The question came up when she asked if he believed imagination can help
us dialogue with God . This was his reply : .." in a recent discussion at the Gregorian
I was accused as it were of ignoring Saint Ignatius of Loyola because the spiritual
exercises certainly put a big emphasis on the help of imagination in making the gospel
real. Making a scene of the gospel, imagining it visually, even entering it and having
conversation with the people involved. And certainly Ignatius did that and it was
very central in his approach to teaching people how to pray but my reply was, yes,
but Ignatius needs to be updated. He has a lot to learn from people like Paul Ricoeur
the great philosopher. He has a lot to learn about the battle of imagination in our
world today ..."... Listen: