Jaeger David M.A. ,
Antonianum, 81/1 (2006) p. 3-4
Our readers will have noticed, one trusts, the new cover chosen for issues of Antonianum starting with this one. The work of a gifted Confrère, Brother Antonino M. Clemenza, it is meant to draw attention, to attract the beholder to take up this issue, to wish to open it. Thereupon, one hopes, the reader’s attention will be riveted on the contents. The colours chosen for the cover, and the whole design, evoking the rising Sun, are an expression of hope and the will to renewal.
This is the first full year of the new team at Antonianum, which thankfully can still count on the generous assistance of the previous Editor and the wise guidance of the editorial board. We should be very grateful for any comments, suggestions, criticisms and even (dare one hope) praise from our readers. You may write to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is much still to do, of course, and the new cover symbolises, but does not exhaust, our hopes of improvement and innovation – all undertaken with great care, and with the greatest respect for the traditions of Antonianum and the achievements of all our distinguished predecessors.
As always, this issue brings to you a variety of articles, book reviews and presentations of scholarly work at the Pontifical University “Antonianum.” Members of our own faculty, as well as other scholars, have contributed the fruits of their labours. Scriptural studies, philosophy, theology, canon law, specifically Franciscan studies and Church history are all represented.
One hesitates to point out some items and not others, especially in the presence of so much painstaking scholarship of a high order. Yet, going simply by my own interests, may I be allowed to highlight two articles of particular relevance to the Church’s witness in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East: Righi’s article on Arab Christian theology is surely especially timely in the face of the newly urgent need to engage in dialogue with Islam, which requires us to express the truths of Revelation and the contents of Christian faith and thought specifically in relation to the language, culture and beliefs of the Islamic world. Pieraccini, for his part, focuses on a valiant effort decades ago to take Catholic education in Jerusalem to a new level. Terra Sancta College did not in the end become a university, and ceased to function altogether as a school after the events of 1948. However – and this is already beyond the scope of this excellent piece of original historical research – fifty years later, in 1998, the College was reclaimed by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, and is in the process of being made into a major “cultural centre” of the Catholic Church in the heart of West Jerusalem. The intention is for it to become an agent, an occasion and a “place” of meeting and speaking together for intellectuals and scholars from the different religious and cultural communities. Indeed it has been designated an additional “campus” of the Jerusalem-based Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology of the Pontifical University “Antonianum”. So, in a true sense, the question in the title of the article can now begin to be answered in the affirmative: Yes, a Catholic University is present in Jerusalem, precisely there, at Terra Sancta College. It has taken longer than at first foreseen, and has assumed a somewhat different shape, but such are the ways of Providence. God be thanked!