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Conversations Magazine

by February 2024
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January-February 2024

Foreword: A Project for an Eighth Centenary

John Harris, O.P., prior provincial of the Irish Dominicans, welcomes Conversations in the context of celebrating the centenary of the arrival of the Dominicans in Ireland – a celebration opening with Mass on Sunday, 11 February, celebrated in St Saviour’s Dublin, by Fr Gerard Francis Timoner, Master of the Order.

From the Editor’s Desk: Opening Conversations
Bernard Treacy, O.P., links the title of the magazine to a decisive moment in the life of St Dominic, and traces how Conversations builds on the inheritance of Doctrine & Life and Spirituality.

Synodality in the Early Church
Sara Parvis begins a set of six articles showing how synodality was a vibrant part of the life of the early centuries of Christianity. In this article she demonstrates how the formation of the New Testament was itself the outcome of centuries of consultation and discussion.

Chasing the Stigma of Metal Illness
Michael Ford writes of Jake Mills and of a comedian’s journey from despair to hope. This journey includes setting up The Hub of Hope, said to be the biggest, most comprehensive, mental health signposting in the UK, if not the world.

‘Please Don’t Insult My Mother”
Bonnie Thurston shows how there is a vital difference between disrespect and criticism which, when offered lovingly, can help us grow. To explore the new, to be forward looking is important, but doesn’t always require repudiating or insulting the past.

The Gospel according to Thomas
Mark Patrick Hederman, O.S.B., compares the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas with the work of the playwright Thomas Murphy.

The Place of Grace: John Cassian and Doctor Faustus
Archbishop Richard Clarke surveys attitudes to grace, showing that, though grace is offered everywhere, it is not to be trifled with.

Listening Down
Ben Harrison, M.C., meditates on the one meaning above and beyond all others found in the Word spoken in silence in the depths of each and all.

The Roots of Arab-Israel Conflict
David Begg shows that the present conflict between Hamas and Israel has roots in the Belfour declaration of 1917 and in the varying ways in which it was amended and implemented.

The Evolving Face of Catholicism in the Work of Brian Moore (1921-1999)
Eamon Maher argues that Catholicism was a constant preoccupation of Brian Moore’s and that he used it to illustrate the dramatic consequences it can wreak on his characters when they start moving outside of its orbit.

Encounter and Presence
Kevin O’Gorman analyses the Vatican document on social media that promotes a programme of content that is positive and of communion that persists among participants in social media platforms.

What now for Irish Catholicism?
Bishop Niall Coll reviews The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland.

Do We Need a New Theology of Nature?
Céline Mangan, O.P., reviews Nature Praising God: Towards a Theology of the Natural World.

Sacred and Profound Transformation
Thomas McCarthy, O.P., reviews Sacraments in a Synodic Church.

An Encounter with the Divine through Art
Brian Doyle, O.P., engages theologically with the experience of viewing a painting depicting the Baptism of Christ.