Il volume su Bergoglio recensito anche da Catholic Books Review

Il sito catholicbooksreview.org ha ospitato una recensione, a firma di Alessandro Rovati (nella foto), dell’edizione americana del mio libro su Bergoglio. Recensione sintetica, ma molto densa e pertinente.

Ecco in inglese il profilo dell’autore: Alessandro Rovati earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, Italy in 2015. During his graduate work, he studied at Duke Divinity School to combine his extensive philosophical training with theological reflections on the current life of the church amidst contemporary society. After working as an Adjunct in the departments of Theology and Political Philosophy at Belmont Abbey College, Dr. Rovati is now a Full Time Lecturer in Theology and the Director of the Study Abroad Program at the Abbey. Dr. Rovati’s scholarship focuses on Christian Ethics, Moral and Political Philosophy, Catholic Social Teaching, and Political Theology. He has contributed the chapter “War Is America’s Altar” in the forthcoming edited volume Cultural Violence and Peace (Brill), travelled across dioceses to teach ministers, educators, and lay faithful, and written articles in Quaestiones Disputatae, the Journal of Moral Theology, and various online publications. Dr. Rovati is now working on two books, Putting Hauerwas in His Place and Learning the Gaze of Christ: A Theological Engagement with Pope Francis.

Ecco il link dell’articolo originario: http://www.catholicbooksreview.org/2019/borghesi.html

Massimo BORGHESI. The Mind of Pope Francis: Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s Intellectual Journey. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2018. pp. 344. $29.95 pb. ISBN 9780814687901. Reviewed by Alessandro ROVATI, Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC 28054.

In this book, Massimo Borghesi opens a much-needed window over the intellectual sources and the cultural history that have shaped Francis’ way of thinking and acting. On the one hand, Borghesi shows the connection between the Pope’s formation and some of the most important European theologians and philosophers of the nineteenth and twentieth century, including Johann Adam Möhler, Romano Guardini, Erich Przywara, Yves Congar, Henri de Lubac, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. On the other, Borghesi introduces the reader to several Latin-American thinkers who, while less known in Europe and the U.S., played a fundamental role in the formation of Jorge Maria Bergoglio. In particular, the book details the connection between Francis and the Argentine theology of the people and then focuses on the lessons he learned from Alberto Methol Ferré and his dialectical Thomism. Finally, Borghesi also describes how the Pope’s entire outlook is deeply rooted in the theology and spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Peter Faber, and the many Jesuit teachers and intellectuals with whom Francis interacted before being elected in 2013.

According to Borghesi, these varied influences all contributed to creating in Francis an approach that can be described as a symphony of opposites. The four principles the Pope articulated in Evangelii Gaudium—time is superior to space, unity is superior to conflict, reality is superior to ideas, and the whole is superior to the parts—are the marks of a dialectical way of thinking that does not extinguish opposition but finds a way of transcending it. Thanks to an intuition sparked in his youth by the Jesuit thinker Gaston Fessard, the Pope has developed a spirituality and a way of reading the signs of the times that is continuously attentive to the tension between grace and freedom, contemplation and action, diversity and unity. His formation has allowed Francis to embody creatively one of the distinctive characters of the Catholic tradition, namely, its capacity to stand amid human finitude and life’s complexities without ever denying or reducing them.

The book thoroughly analyzes the polyphony of voices and circumstances that have made Francis who he is. Accordingly, Borghesi pays equal attention to the Pope’s cultural formation, the political history of Argentina, and the ecclesial developments both in Latin-America and the global Church that have defined Francis’s life. Furthermore, the book also delves into his way of thinking about the relationship between the Church and modernity and about the economy in an era of globalization.

In the last chapter, “The Church and the Contemporary World,” Borghesi brings his genealogical work to a close showing the connection between the Pope’s deep-seated theological, historical, and cultural roots and the vision he has articulated during his pontificate. Responding to the critics of Francis, Borghesi shows that any description of the Pope as naive, theologically uneducated, or narrowly determined by his Argentinian context is false and unattentive to Francis’ actual wide-raging formation. The emphasis on mercy, the insistence on the category of encounter, the constant criticism of both Pelagian and gnostic temptations in the Church are the fruit of many years of prayerful meditation and discernment. Even his immediate and straightforward style, argues Borghesi, is intentional. Bergoglio’s language is simple because “he wants it to be simple. It is simplicity that is rooted in long reflection and in evangelical simplicity, not in any limitation of expression. Behind it lies a rich and original thought process.” (xix)

In the ever-growing literature regarding the Pope and his actions, Borghesi’s work represents a unique contribution for it explores paths up to now left untraveled. While the breadth of his project is so vast that the reader is left at times wanting for more details and nuanced analyses, this book is an indispensable resource for all those who wish to understand and engage with Francis.

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