«Sophia» XIII (2021)

Table of Contents and Abstracts: Issues 1 and 2

«Sophia», Year XIII (2021), Issue 1


(A. Clemenzia - M. Martino)




Politics as proximity: a hypothetical reading of Chiara Lubich (Pasquale Ferrara)

Abstract: The essay, historically placing the experience of Chiara Lubich, investigates the precious legacy of Lubich in the political reading of an epochal passage (the transition from “raison d’Etat” to “raison du monde”) to be grasped, deepened, developed, realized. A radical overturning of perspective, where the emphasis on national identities,sheltered from the ever-present risk of nationalism and particularism, is not in contradiction with the serene and constructive recognition of the identities of others. Far from configuring contrasts and fragmentation, this “dialogic” identity is the foundation of a world community enriched precisely by the encounter of diversities.

Keywords: Chiara Lubich – Policy – Dialogue – Global studies – Politics

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 13-27

Chiara Lubich and Theravada monks: considerations on a prophetic dialogue (Roberto Catalano)

Abstract: In line with other previous studies, we propose an historic and phenomenological examination of the spiritual friendship between Chiara Lubich and a group of theravada Buddhist monks from Thailand. From this experience we can perceive the emergence of a prophetic style of dialogue.

Keywords: Christianity – Buddhism – Dialogue – Prophecy

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 29-47

A Story that "Verges on the Improbable": Cyril of Alexandria and Chiara Lubich on the suffering of Jesus on the Cross (Declan O’Byrne)

Abstract: This article offers a “Cyrillian” reading of some difficult texts from Chiara Lubich’s Paradise ’49, texts which initially seem to contradict one another. They state that, “it is God who suffers”, on the cross, while at the same time affirming that ”as God, Jesus does not suffer”. By “Cyrillian reading I mean a simple but illuminating paralleling of the way the two authors – Chiara Lubich and Cyril of Alexandria – deal with the issue of God’s suffering in Christ. An underlying continuity is observed in these two author’s affirmation of the paradox of the Incarnation. For the Patriarch of Alexandria, Christ “suffers impassibly”, something similar can be found in the Catholic mystic from Trent. The resolution of this paradox lies in understanding God as love in the thought of these two authors..

Keywords: Incarnation – Divine impassibility – Economy of salvation

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 49-61

“Consummati in unum”: at the source of Chiara Lubich's original mystical interpretation (Michel Bronzwaer)

Abstract: Chiara Lubich, originator of the “spirituality of unity” and foundress of a Movement entirely dedicated to unity, expressed her ideal, particularly in her early letters and writings (1945-1949), with the words “consumare in uno”, going back to the words of the Gospel of John “consummati in unum” (Jn. 17,23). Yet, the verb as used by Lubich, especially when phrased in a reflexive voice, is not without ambiguity. It is to be understood as a conflated term, covering two concepts and two spiritual attitudes in one: “to bring to completion” (“consummate”) and “to use up” (“to consume”). Lubich’s highly original use of the verb “consume” can be explained taking into account that the statements of this contemporary mystic are the result of an exceptional collective experience of unity and at the same time of a new comprehension of Jesus’ words of forsakenness on the cross.

Keywords: Consummati in unum – Chiara Lubich – Spirituality of Unity – Jesus Forsaken – Lubich’s early letters

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 63-74

The Creation of the Universe from Nothingness by Laozi from the perspective of Nothingness in the Christian Tradition (Philipp K.T. Hu)

Abstract: On the occasion of the confirmation of a Professorship Honoris Causa from University College of Literature of Dharma Drum Mountain in 2019, Piero Coda gave a lecture on the comparison between the Nothingness of Buddha and Christian tradition. In the description of Christian tradition, he explored two main arguments: the first argument is around the phrase in the Bible: “from nothing he creates”; the second argument is “the nothingness out of love” within the Trinity, among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Based on these two arguments, this article offers a similar comparison about the concept of creation in the book named Dao De Jing of Laozi.

Keywords: Creation – Laozi – Chinese philosophy – Nothingness – Trinitarian ontology

Read full article in English: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 75-92


Bernhard Welte and the "Place" of Nothingness: a perspective for the dialogue between West and East (Haoyang Fu)

Abstract: Can Western thought and that of the East encounter one another in the “locus” of Nothing? As the product of a master’s thesis in Trinitarian Ontology at Sophia University Institute, this article explores such a possibility starting from the re-semanticization of Nothing in Bernhard Welte’s thought, drawing from his sources in Thomas Aquinas’s apophatic theology, in Meister Eckhart’s mysticism and in Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. The Weltian synthesis proposed in Religionsphilosophie taps into the mystery of God starting from the mystery of Nothing, identifying personality and divinity in relationship with revelation in Jesus Christ; in Das Licht des Nichts, the possibility of an encounter with the oriental tradition is opened up in the daoist wu 無 which is expressed in the wuwei 無為 (non-action).

Keywords: Metaphysics – Bernhard Welte – Chinese thought

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 93-108



Munditia cordis. The way of negation in the love of God according to Thomas Aquinas (Anna Sarmenghi)

Abstract: The desire of God is always characterized by our limited experience and the communion with God requires to purify human’s mind and heart. The article proposes the theme of love and munditia cordis in the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas: the first paragraph investigates what amor means and its connection to knowledge, the second one studies the role of negatio/remotio to reach a real communion with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Keywords: Thomas Aquinas – Negation – Purification – Apophasis – Love

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 109-121



Around Marco Martino's essay, "Unexpectedly. The way of 'not', starting from Plato" (Città Nuova, 2020)

Abstract: The forum is a collection of contributions stemming from the presentation of the Tracce series promoted by Sophia University Institute together with the Città Nuova Publishing House. Its first volume, authored by Marco Martino, is entitled D’improvviso. La via del “non”, a partire da Platone (Unexpectedly: the way of “not”, starting with Plato). The conference held on 28 October 2020 included Massimo Donà, Francesco Valagussa, Carmelo Meazza and Piero Coda who dealt with the book’s central topic – investigating a negativity in the unexpected experience of the moment – ἐξαίφνης, a negativity which is not defective; on the contrary it offers the possibility for new unpredictable creations. In the longstanding fruitful dialogue between philosophy and theology, the “not” of ἐξαίφνης is also that of ἐπέκεινα – the paschal agapic not of being in as much as it is trinitarian and trinitizing.

Keywords: Plato – theoretical philosophy – Exaiphnes – Event

Read Forum section in Italian: «Sophia» XIII (2021-1) 123-154

Massimo Donà, Aporie dell’istante. La radicale rigorizzazione dell’orizzonte neoplatonico nelle palpitanti pagine di Marco Martino (124-134)

Carmelo Meazza, Relazione e fede. Note su «D’improvviso. La via del “non”, a partire da Platone» di Marco Martino (135-142)

Francesco Valagussa, Lo sradicamento del “non”. Incontro predestinato e tensione lacerante tra platonismo e cristianesimo (143-150)

Piero Coda, μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλον λόγον (151-154)


«Sophia», Year XIII (2021), Issue 2 will be published in December 2021 

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