On Pakistan's Reception of Christian Thought
Interview With Philosopher Angela Ales Bello
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 29, 2004 (Zenit) - After a short stay in Pakistan, a professor of history of philosophy at the Lateran University agreed to share her impressions on the reception of Christian thought in that country.
Angela Ales Bello had been invited by Bishop Anthony Lobo of the Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi to explain to various sectors of Pakistani society that the West is interested in Muslim culture. About 96% of Pakistan's 140 million people are Muslim.
Q: Why did you decide to leave the Lateran University for a time and go to lecture in Pakistan?
Ales Bello: I was invited by the bishop, Monsignor Lobo, who wished to establish contact with Muslim universities and give proof of the presence of European Christian thought in the territory of Pakistan.
In fact, we found that culture in Pakistan is quite linked to Western thought. Naturally there are some communities that are more strictly Muslim, but in Islamabad's National University of Modern Languages and in Kinnairdr Women's College, where I gave some lectures, Western thought is known.
Catholic schools offer studies linked to Western and American culture. Of course, I am also referring to elementary schools and high schools.
I did not see such a strong Muslim presence, although there is teaching of Islam.
It must be noted that the language of Pakistan is not Arabic but Urdu, and the people of the areas I visited were of Indian origin. Even the underlying culture is not Arabic; they know it because they have to study it. Islam was superimposed on a pre-existing culture.
The purpose of my trip was to have them see that a delegation had come from the West to engage in dialogue -- I was traveling with van der Veken, a professor emeritus of Leuven -- and that the European cultural realm is interested in the Muslim world.
Q: Are Muslim students of Pakistan interested in Christian philosophy?
Ales Bello: Yes, very much so. They are also interested in philosophy in general. Both the existing Catholic communities as well as the Muslim are very interested in questions of philosophic anthropology, ethics and pedagogy.
Q: Was it easy to speak about Jesus in front of Muslims?
Ales Bello: It was not easy. And when there was a Muslim presence, we tried to avoid it explicitly.
In a center dedicated to dialogue between Christians and Muslims, we had some difficulty because they accept Jesus only as a prophet. However, in regard to spiritual problems, the existence of God, openness to the religious dimension, there is consensus and agreement.
Q: You also spoke of Edith Stein and they seemed to be very interested. Do you think this confirms the universality of this philosopher's thought?
Ales Bello: I mentioned her explicitly and implicitly to the Muslims, not as a saint, of course, but as a philosopher, and they were very interested. Not all of them knew about her: The Christians to a degree, the Muslims not at all. The young women were very interested.
Women in Pakistan have a degree of social integration, especially at the higher levels, and if their situation is not too disastrous. In the lower social spheres, the condition of women is difficult. In any case, there are professors, deans of university faculties and women in public offices.
Q: What must be done to exchange "culture" with Muslim countries?
Ales Bello: It is complicated to have them come here. It might be possible to go back, but it also depends on the political situation.
In our case, we were given a good reception at all levels. We have already sent the texts of our lectures and they can publish them, if they wish. At least, they have told us that this is their intention.
htp://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Muslim, Christian, Pakistan
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Isabel of France: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 26, 2017
- Your Daily Inspirational Meme: Thank you, Lord, for always being ...
- Daily Readings for Sunday, February 26, 2017
- Clinton contributor makes revealing 'life insurance' video over fear ...
- Christians warn against witches 'binding spell' of U.S. President ...
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 HD Video
- 92-year-old woman blessed with gift to help newborns
- Daily Reading for Monday, February 27th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 26th, 2017 HD
- Urgent action necessary for 5.5 million people starving in South Sudan HD
- Trump dumps Obama's transgender restroom policy HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.