'The Politics of Discernment' - read the latest issue of The Way

January 3, 2024

The politics of discernment

The Way is the Journal of Spirituality published by the Jesuits in Britain. The January 2024 edition is out now entitled ‘The Politics of Discernment’. You can download a free article here and request a complimentary copy here.

All of the articles in this issue touch upon the theme of how discernment operates in the political sphere. Just as one spark can kindle a fire, so too can a single discernment acquire the power to change the course of human history. Whether grace changes our perception of a given situation, invites us to act according to a certain spirit, or marks us out for some bold action, the stage is set for the work of the Spirit in our everyday lives.

James Hanvey invites us to understand the political and cultural implications of the Spiritual Exercises. Taking the Principle and Foundation and the Two Standards as a starting point, he explores how our individual selves are enmeshed by intersecting social relations. The two meditations form a proposal of the Kingdom of God as a political reality to the whole of humanity, with a leader who cannot be made subject to any state or party.

Patrick Riordan reveals how the Two Standards meditation enables conflicting political groups to set aside their interests in the pursuit of the common good. By analysing its imagination and rhetoric in the light of the tradition of political philosophy, he shows how it facilitates the transformation of human desire.

Other contributions come from Mark Rosaert’s on the phrase discreta caritas or ‘discerning love’ in the writings of St Ignatius; Luz Marina Díaz on our originary identity in Christ, Michael Campbell-Johnson (+1931-2023) on the post-conciliar shift towards entrusting evangelisation to local Churches; and Loan Le on the sensitive inculturation of the Gospel in Vietnam.

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