«Sophia» XII (2020)

Table of Contents and Abstracts: Issues 1 and 2

«Sophia», Year XII (2020), Issue 1: Hegel and Revealed Religion Between Fulfillment and Overcoming the Modern


Hegel and Revealed Religion Between Fulfillment and Overcoming the Modern (A. Clemenzia - M. Martino)




On What Remains to be Considered «Authentically Theological» Pro-voked by Hegel's Thought (Piero Coda)

Abstract: According to Barth, theology withdrew from what was “authentically theological” in Hegel’s thought. Understanding the adjective “theological” to be what qualifies the form of knowledge determined by the situation of existence established by Revelation, this article intends to identify what makes such knowledge practicable in Hegel. It is – in his language – the «element» or «ether» where the truth of Being can be accessed. Hegel seems to be oriented toward identifying this «element» in Christian mysticism. This means not denying thought as such, but rather transferring it into the region of being inaugurated by the event of Jesus Christ.

Keywords: philosophy and theology – Hegel – revelation – mysticism

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 11-25

ΕΡΧΕΘΑΙ ΩΡΑ ΚΑΙ ΝΥΝ ΕΣΤΙΝ: "in the Spiritual Day of Presence" (Vincenzo Vitiello)

Abstract: Vitiello rereads the Hegelian reflection about time in the light of the verse from the Fourth Gospel, “…a time is coming and has now come”, comparing it with the di­verse interpretations of the relationship between the to­tality of the temporal horizon (Hóra) and the “moment” (nýn) of its “revelation”, occurring over the course of his­tory – from Augustine to Nietzsche and Borges, proceed­ing to Hölderlin and Dostoyevsky. The outcome is a real true passage from the primacy of the Hóra to that of the nýn, no longer seen as a “moment” within the Hóra, but as an in-stant suspended between the real movement of time and the possible tranquillity of the Nothingness of time. This ‘in-stant’, and this alone, which opens up the mystery of the Possible, today merits the Hegelian defi­nition of the “spiritual day of the presence”.

Keywords: philosophy – Hegel – history – time

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 27-37

Hegel and the Trinity (Massimo Donà)

Abstract: What we have tried to show in this essay are the extraordinary affinities between the first three categories of Hegelian logic (in particular the logic of Being) and the forms of the Christian Trinity as it is theorized by Gregory of Nyssa in the context of a precise and peremptory response to the heresy of Eunomio. Even if the “non” of Trinitarian dialecticism is absolutely not reducible to the sense of the Hegelian aufhebung.

Keywords: theoretical philosophy – Hegel – logic – Trinity

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 39-53

The Flight of the Owl and the Song of the Lark: Notes on freedom in G.W.F. Hegel (Marco Martino)

Abstract: More than a speculative thesis, a comparative analysis of the beginning and end of Hegel’s Science of Logic may represent a privileged position for observing peculiar nuances of that topic so dear to much of the whole central philosophical tradition in the development of classical German philosophy – freedom. Even though the concept of freedom cannot be distinguished from the processes of its concrete achievement according to Hegel, I will try to demonstrate the theoretical structures that partly precede and partly guide the different forms of its execution.

Keywords: philosophy – Hegel – freedom – liberty

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 55-66

The Community and the Enemy: Theodicy and political theology in Hegel (Massimo Borghesi)

Abstract: Hegel presents his philosophy of history as a reformulation of Leibniz’s “theodicy”, a justification of evil in history from the point of view of Reason. This legitimation of the negative renders Hegelian providence radically different from Christian providence. If good presupposes evil then even the formation of the ethical community presupposes the dialectic of the negative. The state arises to overcome the internal enemy – the individualistic atomism of the economic sphere, and the external enemy – all the other states. War with the external enemy is the tool through which the internal ethic is reconstituted. In this way Hegelian theodicy is nourished on the friend-enemy dialectic which constitutes political theology’s form for Carl Schmitt.

Keywords: philosophy – Hegel – evil – history

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 67-80

The "Preliminaries" of Hegelian Thought: an interpretative proposal (Marco Moschini)

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to retrace the useful elements for delineating the proprium of Hegelian thought as thinking of the true, also through Augusto Vera’s interpretation – the idea as content and therefore as the inevitable “premise” emerging from Hegel’s thought.

Key words: philosophy – Hegel – truth

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 81-93

God at the end of Language: Reflections on God seen by Hegel (Kurt Appel)

Abstract: This article, written in German, wants to point to important aspects of the question of God in Hegel’s oeuvre. The first part introduces Hegel’s dialectic that finds its peak in Hegel’s Science of Logic. The second part tries to delineate the main results of Hegel’s first major work, The Phenomenology of Spirit, and argues that God can be understood there as the sphere in which the subject points beyond itself toward its other. The third part demonstrates that the language of the Logic is not denotative, as it does not aim at mirroring a world outside or within language. The absolute is shown to express itself in the successive sublation of the object of language and fixations attributed to it. Thus, the absolute Spirit in Hegel’s Logic is not only understood as the logos of language itself – as proclaimed in the metaphysical tradition -, but at the same time as its crisis, and therefore He is the not representable “Other” in relation to our symbolic orders who reveals Himself in freedom and creativity.

Keywords: philosophy and theology – dialectics – Hegel – language – metaphysics

Read full article in German: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 95-110


Theology and Philosophy: in Dialogue with Klaus Hemmerle (M. Donà - V. Vitiello - P. Coda)

Abstract: In the wake of Klaus Hemmerle’s thought promoting a new interpretative outlook on being based on a synergy between philosophy and theology, this section presents the fruit of intense dialogue among three scholars who have been addressing this topic for years. The first text is by Massimo Donà for the Convention, “Male and Female in Relationship: Anthropological Perspectives in Dialogue with Klaus Hemmerle” (3-4 April 2019) at the Sophia University Institute, followed by Vincenzo Vitiello’s and Piero Coda’s contributions at the Seminar “The Truth as Witness: Klaus Hemmerle and the Relationship between Philosophy and Theology” (28 October 2019) held at the Italian Institute of Philosophical Studies. Both events were occasions to present the collection of Hemmerle’s writings, edited by V. Gaudiano: Ac-knowledgeable Thinking: Writings on the Relationship between Philosophy and Theology (Città Nuova 2018).

Keywords: philosophy and theology – Klaus Hemmerle – Trinitarian ontology – sacred

Read Forum section in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-1) 111-141

Massimo Donà, The Sacred and the Catastrophe of Thought: Notes on the sacred and thought. For a philosophical phenomenology of the sacred in Klaus Hemmerle (112-126)

Vincenzo Vitiello, The Truth as Witness: Klaus Hemmerle and the relation between philosophy and theology (127-134)

Piero Coda, What is Thinking, between philosophy and theology? (135- 141)


«Sophia», Year XII (2020), Issue 2: The Theoretical Implications of a Charism


The Theoretical Implications of a Charism (Giuseppe Argiolas)




The Four Stages of Chiara's "Mystical Journey": For a phenomenology of the Christian experience propitiated by the charism of unity (Piero Coda)

Abstract: What driving significance and perspectives are offered by Chiara Lubich’s “mystical journey”? To answer this question, it is necessary to use a phenomenological method intent upon interpreting the experience as it is given in the wide-ranging parabola drawn out by it. This is done from two different vantage points: that of examining the selfawareness expressed by Chiara and that of looking upon the mystagogy she obtained from it to then transmit the same experience. Four steps can be distinguished a posteriori, and they are shown to be articulated coherently.

Keywords: Mysticism – Trinity – Jesus Forsaken – Charism of unity – Mary

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 157-183

Chiara Lubich and the Experience of the Claritas between Mysticism and Metaphysics (Jesús Morán)

Abstract: The question “What is metaphysics?” it runs through the history of philosophy and finds a singular intensification in the last century by the hand of thinkers such as M. Heidegger and X. Zubiri. In the possible answer to this question, there is a, in some ways unexpected yet evident, “fusion of perspectives” with the mystique. Chiara Lubich’s experience in “Paradiso ‘49”, interpreted by the German theologian and philosopher K. Hemmerle as an “ontology of Claritas”, presents itself as a “place” where mystical experience and metaphysical intellection find a fertile exchange and mutual enrichment of unexplored virtuality.

Keywords: Mysticism – Metaphysics – Claritas – Diáfano

Read full article in Spanish: Sophia» XII (2020-2) 185-202

Kabôd and Claritas: Foundational Biblical Paths to the Mystical Experience of Chiara Lubich (Giovanna Maria Porrino)

Abstract: First of all, the author offers a biblical excursus on the theme of claritas. In the second, she dwells on Chiara Lubich’s experience, described in terms of great luminosity: fire, flames, light. Short texts by the young woman from Trento are exposed, from which emerges the conviction that she will receive from the Father, through her charism, the same Light of Jesus. It is Claritas, which illuminates all that is human. It is the Holy Spirit.

Keywords: Chiara Lubich – Glory – Claritas – Light – Word of God

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 203-216

Ecclesiology in Chiara Lubich (Gérard Rossé)

Abstract: This study is meant to shed light on the importance of Chiara Lubich’s charism of unity for ecclesiology. Recognized by the Catholic Church, it is a charism of life and light emerging from the life of a group of young women around Chiara. They put the Word of life into practice, discovering the points of the spirituality and making a commitment with the pact of 1949.
The vision of the Church that prevailed between the Council of Trent and the Second Vatican Council can find its Mystery and model in it: the sacramental dimension, the awareness of the Risen One’s presence even in a little community, a paschal ethic based on “Jesus forsaken” lived in fraternal communion, the vocation to the universal dimension and to the Trinitarian life.

Keywords: Jesus Forsaken – Unity – Agape – Chiara Lubich – Eucharist

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 217-231

Nature the Mystery of Love: Chiara Lubich's Contribution to the Understanding of Natural Reality (Sergio Rondinara)

Abstract: Recent epistemological gains tend toward a new vision of the natural world. Even though this vision is based on the true, valid content of the natural sciences, it is open to contributions from other fields of knowledge. This essay presents a study of some passages of Chiara Lubich’s writings concerning natural reality, showing how they can contribute to the constitution of a post-scientistic vision of the world.

Keywords: Nature – Creation – Kenosis – Agape – World vision

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 233-247

A Christianity "Out of rank, without leaving the ranks": An analysis of interreligious dialogue in Chiara Lubich and the Focolare in a sociological key (Bernhard Callebaut)

Abstract: Chiara Lubich wrote in 1946 that she wanted to live for universal brotherhood. The horizon of most Catholics at the time usually did not reach beyond their own parish. Personalities from all the great religions testified in front of her coffin in 2008 about what they had received from her along the path to universal brotherhood. What can sociology teach us about this “prophet” of interreligious dialogue?

Keywords: Interreligious dialogue – Axial age – Charism – Catholic Church

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 249-262

The Cry of Abandonment of Jesus, Manifestation of the Maternal Aspect of Love (Florence Gillet)

Abstract: One of Chiara Lubich’s writings from 1949 makes an unusual affirmation: “Jesus Forsaken is motherly love”. The article sets out to ascertain whether this affirmation is secondary to the rich legacy of thought and spirituality left by Chiara Lubich or is consistent with it. The personal and collective experience that gave rise to this affirmation are explored, as are its roots in Scripture.

Keywords: Jesus Forsaken – Generative love – Feminine – Divinization

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 263-276

Parts and Participation in the Mystical Experience of Chiara Lubich from the Perspective of Mereology (Judith Povilus)

Abstract: The article considers Chiara Lubich’s mystical experience of “participation,” as recorded in the Paradise ’49 writings, from the viewpoint of the discipline of mereology (a formal study of parts). It illustrates how the pattern of participation described by Chiara can find rational support (in the sense of not being conceptually impossible) in a non standard version of mereology.

Keywords: Part – Participation – Mereology – Creation – Divine life

Read full article in English: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 277-291


Dottorate h.c. in Culture of Unity to Fr. J.C. Scannone S.I.

Abstract: Sophia University Institute granted an honorary doctorate in “Culture of Unity” to Professor Juan Carlos Scannone, S.I. during the inauguration of the 2019-2010 academic year. He was a distinguished authority in philosophy, theology and the Church’s social doctrine in Latin America. Since he was struck by a grave illness just before his trip to Italy, Daniel López, his fellow Jesuit and former student, read the lectio magistralis he had prepared for the event. Fr. López is dean of the Philosophy Department at the Catholic University of Cordoba in Argentina. Fr. Scannone died shortly afterwards on November 27th. This lectio is his last essay therefore, a precious legacy which he left to us. We preserve it as we remember him with gratitude.

Keywords: Juan Carlos Scannone – Trinitarian ontology – Communion – Klaus Hemmerle – Culture of unity

Download the Issue to read the Forum in Italian: «Sophia» XII (2020-2) 293-308

Piero Coda, Conferral of the doctorate h.c. to  Fr. J.C. Scannone S.I. (294-297)

Juan Carlos Scannone S.I., The Ontology of Unity Rethought of Starting from Trinitarian Faith (298-308)




Around the Book "The cry of abandonment. Exegesis, theology, mysticism" by Gérard Rossé and Piero Coda

Abstract: In this issue’s “Forum,” Alessandro Clemenzia e Marco Martino discuss the recent publication of Gerard Rossé and Piero Coda, entitled “Il Grido d’Abbandono: Scrittura, mistica, teologia”, published in the series Tracce promoted by the Sophia University Institute. Clemenzia poses the question of the specificity of the Incarnation in its deepest meaning, and concentrates on the contemporaneity of the event within history. Martino, in dialogue with the book, investigates the meaning of the dereliction of Jesus for thought itself. The discussion of this theme is a valuable contribution to this issue, since the intuition of Jesus Forsaken is central to the thought and work of Chiara Lubich.

Keywords: History – Participation – Event – Faith – Philosophy – Chiara Lubich – Jesus Forsaken

Download the Issue to read the Forum in Italian:«Sophia» XII (2020-2) 309-320

 Alessandro Clemenzia, The Contemporaneity of the Event and the Path of History (310-315)

Marco Martino, The Cry of Abandonment and Thinking (316-320)


Paradise: Reflections on Chiara Lubich’s Mystical Journey, edited by Don Mitchell (New City Press, 2020)

Abstract: Courtesy of the author, Donald Mitchell (Purdue University), we reproduce the Introduction to the recent volume, published in the United States for the centenary of Chiara Lubich’s birth. Alongside a Foreword by Peter Casarella (Duke Divinity School) and a Preface by Piero Coda (Sophia University Institute), it explains the genesis and context of the various contributions that make up the volume. The Introduction thus provides an articulated and broad framework for the spiritual, theological and socio-cultural extent of the charism of unity.

Keywords: Charism of unity – Mysticism – Culture of unity – Abbà School – Dialogue – Chiara Lubich

Download the Issue to read the Introduction in English:«Sophia» XII (2020-2) 321-331


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