Παρασκευή, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2010

Politics of Sanctity

Politics of Sanctity

 


 Seminar Organizer: Amanda Minervini

Most countries in the world have a patron saint: Gabriele D’Annunzio, the controversial writer who is known to have been close to Fascism, defined Saint Francis of Assisi as “the most Italian of all saints, the most saintly of all Italians.” The even more controversial pope Pius XII appropriated this formula when he proclaimed the Assisian saint “patron of Italy” on June 18th 1939, that is to say, in a particularly fraught moment of European history.
Of the rich Roman Catholic repertoire, which historical and political circumstances influenced the choice, to mention only a few, of Joan of Arc, Wenceslaus, Boniface, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Luján or Joseph, as patron saints of, respectively, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, China? What is and what was the significance of establishing, for each country, a special and specific advocate to god? The aim of this panel is to discuss the construction of sanctity in the wider contexts of nation formation, of legacies of the past, as a tool to propose social reform, as a way to implicitly negotiate other political tensions. In defining the spirit of a nation necessary to the construction of a patron, which characteristics were emphasized, which were left out and which were “imported,” hybridized? On which terms were those discourses conducted? Were they mainly proposed through papal speeches or can we retrace their influence in other cultural texts (popular magazines, TV, music, literature, cinema…)? Are those figures still powerful and do they still appeal to a specific population? For which reasons, in which forms and to which parts of the population which is object of analysis? In which ways did the various popes refer back to patrons in different contexts than those of their proclamation? Which interpretative paths open up to the literary critic, the political theorist, the historian, the anthropologist, the practicing Catholic, when they confront the discourse pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI on September 28, 2009 in Prague, in which he referred to Saint Wenceslaus in order to advocate the formation of a political class made of “credible believers”?
Papers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and dealing with theoretical aspects of the interaction between sanctity and politics (management of violence, institution of rituals, status, self-preservation, etc.) or papers bringing forth an in depth analysis of specific instances are welcome.

Source: http://www.acla.org/acla2010/?p=725








Photo via i.esmas.com
Politics is also a path to sanctity, says Cardinal Rivera


The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, called on politicians this week to seek holiness in their service to others and to create “conditions of equal opportunity among all citizens” for their development, in the spirit of St. Thomas Moore, reports Catholic News Agency.





“Political activity should be carried out with a spirit of service. It is a true vocation that dignifies those who exercise it, in particular in government, in the establishing of laws and in public administration in its diverse spheres,” the cardinal said, commemorating the feast of St. Thomas Moore, the patron of Catholic politicians and lawmakers.
Cardinal Rivera stressed that politicians should not only be concerned about giving each person his due, but also about “creating conditions of equal opportunity among all citizens" so that "those who run the risk of being relegated to or occupying the lowest spots in society, with no chance of personal recovery” are supported.
He criticized those who put their personal interests above the common good, which causes “the unbearable scandal of the opulent societies of today’s world, in which the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.”
The cardinal also urged Christian politicians to embrace and live out the principles of the Church’s social doctrine, “which is not an ideology and much less a political program, but rather offers the fundamental basis for understanding man and society in light of the universal ethical law, present in the heart of every man and illuminated by Gospel principles.”
“It’s not a question of going in circles with the problems but of confronting them with the testimony of a coherent faith,” Cardinal Rivera said. “In a secular society we must be respectful of believers and non-believers, but we must never be ashamed into silence about our principles and convictions,” he stated.

Source: http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue6084.html