Welcome to the FIRST

The newsletter of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church
September 2017

Dear Friends,
I hope this finds you well.
Next month's First will be dedicated to the program at Sarajevo July 26-30, 2018; we are now finishing its design. 
In this issue there are four particular topics to cover with you.
First, there are five great FORUM essays.  Along with them there are also Regional Reports.
Second, there is a call for papers from Asian Horizons. 
Third, there is an obituary for Benno Malfèr from San Anselmo by Martin Lintner.
Finally, I am happy to announce the publication of A Lúcás Chan Reader: Pioneering Essays on Biblical and Asian Theological Ethics by Dharmaram Press.  If you want a copy, send me an email with your name, mailing address and phone number. My e-mail address is James.Keenan.2@bc.edu
All the Best,

A Lúcás Chan Reader: Pioneering Essays on Biblical and Asian Theological Ethics 
By: George Griener and James Keenan

From the Preface by George Griener and Jim Keenan
Roughly 15 years ago each of us met Yiu Sing Lúcás Chan, George first, then Jim. From the beginning Lúcás was a younger theological colleague.
His untimely death interrupted the work of a true pioneer, as Joshua McElwee called him in an obituary in the National Catholic Reporter. But even those who knew some of his writings would have no idea of just how much he had written. Moreover, since his writings were so widely published  (Germany, Poland, Japan, Macau, India, Philippines, and US), many would not know where to find them.
As his two readers, we decided to honor his legacy by editing a collection of some of his writings. In this collection, George provides an introductory essay to Lúcás the theologian and Jim provides a running introduction to the development of his work in biblical ethics and Asian theological ethics.
Two unpublished writings bookend this collection. In 2014, he submitted to Marquette University an "intellectual autobiography." We begin the collection with these words. A week before he died, Lúcás presided at his Jesuit community liturgy. The words of his sermon were then and now remarkably consoling and so we close the collection with these words.

Featured Forum Articles:

Obituary for Benno Malfèr
By: Martin Lintner
On August 28 th 2017 Benno Malfèr OSB passed away after a brief but serious illness at the age of 70. He was abbot of the Benedictine abbey Muri-Gries in Bolzano in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Benno Malfèr obtained his doctorate in Moral Theology from the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome in 1978. He was teaching Moral and Pastoral Theology from 1981 to 1991 at the very same Atheneum. His special fields were family ethics and pastoral care for marriage and family. Even after being elected abbot of Muri-Gries in 1991 he continued to give lectures on family ethics at St. Anselm. May he rest in peace!

Call for Papers: 



Responding to the religious, cultural, social, political and economic context of Asia, and drawing inspiration from the religious and cultural resources, in recent decades Asian theologians have attempted to develop their own Christologies. December 2017 issue is dedicated to Asian Christologies.
Please send your articles (4500-5000 words, including the footnotes) at the latest by 15 November 2017. Kindly include the abstract of the article in 150-200 words, 5-7 Keywords and a summary of the CV of the author in 100-150 words.
Other regular items: "New Scholars": Abstract of doctoral theses (recently defended and not yet published); Reports and Statements of important conferences, Book Reviews.
For submitting the articles and for more details: Shaji George Kochuthara (editor-in-chief): kochuthshaji@gmail.com

Themes: 2017-2019
2017: Vol. 11
March: Amoris Laetitia
June: Protestant Reformation after 500 Years
September: New Faces of Religious Fundamentalism and Violence
December: Asian Christologies
2018: Vol. 12
March: Asian Public Theology
June: Theology of Family, Sexuality, and Marriage: From Casti Connubii to Amoris Laetitia
September: Sensus Fidei, Sesus fidelium and the Magisterium
December:  Theological Education: Challenges
2019: Vol. 13
March: Gender: Theology and Praxis
June: The Theologian in the Local Church
September: Biblical Theology: Asian Contribution
December: Religious Pluralism: Changing Perspectives

North America Report
By:  Anna Floerke Scheid

The North American Regional Committee invites all CTEWC scholars to read the summary of our committee's Selected Session at last June's Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America.  The summary, written by Christopher Vogt,  is included in CTSA's Proceedings and can be found here:
As the U.S. continues to reel from acts of overt white supremacy and racist violence, three CTEWC members Anna Floerke Scheid and Tobias Winright (North American Regional Committee Co-Chairs) and MT Dávila (formerly Latin American Region Chair), along with Matthew Tapie (Director of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, St. Leo's University) drafted an ecumenical response called "A Statement from Christian Ethicists Without Borders on White Supremacy and Racism."  The statement is a repudiation of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia, and all forms of white supremacy as sinful and heretical.  It rejects "the "America First" doctrine, which is a pernicious and idolatrous error...[that] erodes our civic and religious life, and fuels xenophobic and racist attacks against immigrants and religious minorities, including our Jewish and Muslim neighbors."  The statement calls on Christians in the U.S. to "pray for the strength and courage to stand emphatically against racism, white supremacy, and nationalism in all its forms; participate in acts of peaceful protest, including rallies, marches, and at times, even civil disobedience..." and "engage in political action to oppose structural racism."  This statement has been signed by over 750 U.S. Christian ethicists and theologians and has been featured in several media outlets.  The North American Regional Committee asks for the prayers of our brother and sister Catholic ethicists from around the globe as we work for greater racial justice in the U.S.   To read the entire statement and see a list of signatories click here:

Europe Report
By: Roman Globokar
ATISM: Conference on Amoris Laetitia
The annual conference of ATISM ( www.atism.it ), the Italian Association of Moral Theologians, was held at Alghero, Sardinia, from July 3 to 7. The theme of the meeting was "Moral Theology after Amoris Laetitia". The keynote lectures were given by Giacomo Rossi (Cagliari),  Sabatino Maiorano (Accademia Alfonsiana, Rome), Basilio Petrà (Florence, President of ATISM), and Martin M. Lintner (Bressanone). Simone Morandini (Padova), Sergio Bastianel (Napoli), Franco Gismano (Trieste/Udine), Mario Cascone (Catania), Giuseppe Pani (Sassari), and Claudio Uras (Sassari) were the respondents (see the program http://www.atism.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Convegno-ATISM0004.jpg ). Basilio Petrà in his lecture reminded the audience of ATISM with Pope Francis in July 2016. In that occasion Pope Francis invited the moral theologians "to break the bread of mercy". The whole conference was signed by lively, sometimes also controversial discussions on how Amoris laetitia takes up anew different moral categories already present in the long tradition of Moral Theology that allow a differentiated discernment of complex situations of people. Combined with the primacy of mercy the Church has to find new ways of accompaniment and integration of persons concerned by vulnerability and moral guilt. The proceedings of the conference will be published soon. A brief report in Italian by Stefano Zamboni on SETTIMANA-News (July 10, 2017) is available online: 

The participants of the annual conference of ATISM in Alghero (Sardinia)
Congress "Ecumenical Ethics"
The 38. Congress of the International Association for Moral Theology and Social Ethics on the topic of Ecumenical Ethics takes place in Bamberg, Germany, on September 10-13, 2017. The aim of the Congress is to consider and discuss confessional differences in consideration of the Christian aspect of Theological Ethics as well as to show perspectives of Theological Ethics in post-religious societies. For more information on the Congress and its program see:

New Yearbook for Moral Theology
The first volume of a newly founded Yearbook for Moral Theology (Jahrbuch für Moraltheologie) edited by Katharina Klöcker, Thomas Laubach and Jochen Sautermeister is published on September 15, 2017. This volume deals with the topic of "gender" as a challenge for Christian Ethics and contains articles by Christof Breitsameter, Stephan Goertz, Konrad Hilpert, Thomas Laubach and Herta Nagl-Docekal, among others. For more information on the new Yearbook for Moral Theology see: 


Latin America Report
By: Emilce Cuda

Con mucho agrado les comunicamos que la SBTM (Sociedad Brasilera de Teologos Morales) ha realizado su 41 Congreso de Teologia Moral, y el tema del encuentro fue: "Fundamentalismo: desafios para la etica teologica". Sus directores, Ronaldo Zacharias y Maria Ines Castro Millen, han sido los compiladores del libro Funadmentalismos, SBTM, UNISAL, Sao Pablo, 2017 (ya disponible en espanol),, que contiene las conferencias y paneles del congreso. El mismo se realizo del 28 al 31 de Agosto en UNISAL, San Pablo. Participaron del encuentro miembros de la CTEWC como Elio Gasda, Alex Martin, Emilce Cuda, Rosana Mazzini, Amarildo de Melo, junto a otros teologos brasileros. Las exposiciones fueron de muy alto nivel y pusieron de manifiesto el espiritu comun de todos sus integrantes. "Fundamentalisto", segun los telogos moralistas brasileros, debe leerse en varios contextos -politico, social  y economico- como impedimento a la via evengelica. Ljos de una etica teologica, en su lugar el fundamentalismo expresa posiciones de poder conservadoras, y en muchos casos criticas a la teologia y pastoral del Papa Francisco, en quien los eticistas brasileros depositan su confianza para una Iglesia en Salida.
Felicitamos a la Facultad de Teologia de la Universidad Javeriana de Colombia ha festejado los 80 anos de su restauracion. Del evento participaron, invitados por el Rector Dr. Luis Guillermo Sarasa, eticistas de la CTEWC como Maria Isabel Gil Espinoza, Alberto Munera y Emilce Cuda. En comun, los panelistas han expresado su apoyo al programa pastoral del Papa Francisco, y se manifestaron criticos de aquellos que aun hoy siguen desconociento su interpelacion a ponerse del lado de los que mas sufren. El evento se realizo en Bogota los dias 24 y 25 de Agosto.
Santiago Espitia Fajardo nos cuenta que estara participando como conferenciasta invitado en: el  Diplomado Agentes de Paz y Reconciliación, en Septiembre 2, en la Sociedad Bíblica Colombiana; en la Conferencia Reforma Protestante y Sociedad, Septiembre 13, en Medellín, en la Fundación Universitaria Seminario Bíblico de Colombia; y como organizador y conferencista en Bioética y Reforma, en Octubre 19, Bogotá, en el Instituto de Bioética de la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
Pablo A. Blanco comunica su conferencia en la ciudad de Montevideo (Uruguay) con motivo del segundo aniversario de la publicación de la encíclica Laudato Si' del Papa Francisco.  La conferencia fue organizada por el CEDIDOSC (Centro de Estudio y Difusión de la Doctrina Social Cristiana), y contó además con el auspicio institucional del CLAdeES y de la Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA). En su presentación el Prof. Blanco señaló que Laudato Si´ "no es una síntesis - en el sentido de compilación o resumen de lo ya dicho - sino que aporta nuevos conceptos y paradigmas epistemológicos para la comprensión". Entre las novedades del documento del Papa Francisco destacó además "un giro epistemológico a partir de la perspectiva de "Ecología Integral"; el hallazgo de una nueva cuestión social de dimensiones globales producto directo de la crisis de la Modernidad, ubicando a la "Creación" (mucho más que la sola idea de naturaleza o medioambiente) como centro de ésa nueva cuestión social; repensando la Tierra como "Madre Tierra", como un ente vital, vivero de la Vida, y no ya como un resultado de fenómenos físico-químicos; abandonando la idea de un progreso ilimitado en un medio que no lo es y cambiando hacia nuevos modelos de producción" (cfr. LS, 22). Todo esto supone un profundo cambio de cosmovisión, que debe volverse una"Conversión ecológica" de la Humanidad, puntualizó.
Alexandre A. Martins comparte sus publicaciones: "Protestant Social Ethics and Catholic Social Ethics: A Dialogue Towards Just Health" inAtualização Teológica v. 21, no. 56 (May/August 2017): 323-343, available online at: https://www.maxwell.vrac.puc-rio.br/rev_ateo.php?strSecao=fasciculo&fas=30452&NrSecao=X2 .  "Domocracia Como Obrigação e Participação: Dialogando com Simone Weil e Amartya Sen" in Revista Paulus v. i, no. 2 (2nd Semestrer, 2007): 77-86, available online at: http://fapcom.edu.br/revista-paulus/index.php/revista-paulus/issue/view/3/showToc
Online Courses: 
Online short courses offered by Catherine of Siena College (University of Roehampton) are off to an excellent start, and students from different parts of the globe are signing up and enjoying them. So far, students have been able to take courses on Women and the Catholic Church, Migration Matters, Violence against Women and Spirituality and Social Action. Here is a comment from one of our students:
I found V iolence against women: War, the Domestic Sphere and Religion profoundly educative, inspiring and eye-opening. Learning the various course themes from the standpoint of a man and a religious leader, I was awakened to crucial aspects pertaining to violence against women I was oblivious to owing to patriarchal cultural upbringing and espoused religious traditions that were often characterized by marginalization and oppression of women. Evidently coming from highly informed positions of the subject area, the course instructors presented the material in a thought-provoking manner that shaped strong gender-conscious theological convictions in me. I strongly recommend religious leaders of different faiths to take this course.
Details of upcoming courses, and information about how to register and apply for a bursary can be found at  http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Catherine-of-Siena/. Email  catherineofsiena@roehampton.ac.uk for more information.

In This Issue
Fellowships and Grants
Submit and Browse CTWEC Resources

Submit Your Resources
Send us your announcements, job postings, recent publications, etc. Submit here.

Browse Resources
Check out fellowship, conference announcements, calls for papers, publications, etc.  Visit the resource page.

Jim Keenan S.J.



Trevor R. Jones