Coordinator: Juan Carlos Pallardel, SJ.
The objective of the project is to build up and to consolidate the intellectual apostolate of the Society of Jesus in Pakistan as a contribution to the Pakistani society, the Christian community and the Society of Jesus. In this perspective, we understand ‘intellectual apostolate’ in a large sense that includes the contribution of the Society of Jesus to (i) the academic reflection as an intra-catholic, ecumenical and interreligious endeavour, (ii) the academic formation of young Pakistanis and (iii) cultural, religious and theological studies (i.e. the study of Islam, interreligious dialogue, Punjabi studies and so forth).
Supporting theological reflection and formation in Pakistan:
a.Theological Support to Pakistan through Visitor Professors
There is an ongoing project for supporting the theological formation in Pakistan, especially the Catholic Major Seminary in Karachi, through the presence of 1 or 2 visitor theologians per year for a period of two to four weeks. The project is running in coordination with the Kircher Network and the King Catholic Seminary of Karachi.
Support with 1 or 2 theologians1 once a year in order to enrich the theological formation and reflection in the country. This is an essential element for supporting this young and vulnerable Church to continue growing.
The activities during this time may consist of: :
– Workshops: i) with members the faculty of the Catholic Major Seminaries and members of the Faculty of some Protestant seminaries; ii) with the theology students of the seminaries; iii) with religious sisters in formation.
– Conferences: i). two hours conferences as part of the on-going formation and updating of the members of the Christian community in different cities of the country: Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Multan; ii) Conference-talk with a group of Muslim scholars, private meeting for those Muslim scholars interested in knowing Christianity.
– Training: i) People charged to multiply the experience, translate documents, and reach the Urdu speakers; ii) Organizing with the local team the possible activities that give continuity to the “Theological session” and prepare the participant for the following one. d. Production of material; iii) A reader in Urdu for Muslim students of Comparative Religions.
b.Theological Formation of Laity
– Alternative: Vidyajyoti Distance Education Programme in Theology (DEP)
– Partnership: Makhtab-e Anaween (Fr. Asi – Diocese of Lahore)
c. Formation on Christianity, Islam and dialogue
· Description: to organize formation programmes for building a sound, dialogical and critical understanding of Christianity, Islam, dialogue and Pakistan [social and cultural features].