Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Faith and Justice in One's Homeland

As spoken about in class, religion is a big part of defining homelands and shapes who we are and how we interact with others in our homeland. In Kolvenbach’s text, he speaks about the importance of faith and justice. For Jesuits, their homeland is based on the religious teachings they believe in, and use these teaching to affect their homeland in a positive light. Unlike the missionaries in Things Fall Apart, the Jesuits see the world as everyone’s homeland and want to make the world a better place by promoting justice. Kolvenbach says, “The Congregation wanted our preaching and teaching not to proselytize, not to impose our religion on others, but rather to propose Jesus and his message of God’s Kingdom in a spirit of love to everyone” (26). In Things Fall Apart the Igbo religion was replaced by the Christians, but the Jesuits do not want to replace what one believes, but shape the way one thinks about justice; to learn more about justice in order to better the world.

Along with religion, language also plays a key part in one’s homeland. It is hard to teach people how to better their homeland if there is a language barrier or if what one is trying to say is not understood. Kolvenbach explains, “This expression [diakonia fidei] is difficult to translate in many languages. . .the term justice also remains ambiguous” (26). With important words translated differently across cultures or having ambiguous meanings, it is no wonder that although two people live in the same homeland, they may see their homeland in completely different ways. This directly relates to Love and Longing in Bombay in which Chandra has different characters talk about Bombay, all of which see their homeland differently. However, regardless of the way in which we each see the world there is something that can be gained in understanding each other’s differences. Kolvenbach says, “Thousands of immigrants arrive from everywhere: entrepreneurs from Europe, high –tech professionals from South Asia who staff the service industries as well as workers from Latin America and Southeast Asia who do the physical labor – thus, a remarkable ethnic, cultural and class diversity” (31). Everyone has something different to offer, and with cultures and religions coming together we are able to learn from one another and better the world. Kolvenbach says, “Every discipline, beyond its necessary specialization, must engage with human society, human life, and the environment in appropriate ways, cultivating moral concern ought hoe people aught to live together” (36). Each person’s beliefs, talents, and the way in which he or she sees his or her homeland might not be exactly the same, but to feel secure in one’s homeland is a universal value. This is why the Jesuit value of promoting justice is extremely important in order to shape future students to promote justice and make their homeland even better.

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