A journal of academic theology

From the Editor’s Desk: On the Feast of the Transfiguration

W. H. Auden’s eclogue, The Age of Anxiety (1947), depicts the cultural temper in the age of war and modernity. He identifies what much of the world has suffered since the Great War and continues to suffer today in the innumerable outbreaks of local wars streamed to our digital devices. Chronic anxiety is not new. What is new is its scope and our immediate awareness of it. It was surely there in the post-French Revolution years of the 19th century with recurring revolutions throughout Europe. It surely marked the cultural climate when Pope Clement XIV on July 21, 1773, with a single stroke dissolved the Society of Jesus throughout the world; and when on August 7, 1814, as the Napoleonic Wars were winding down, Pope Pius VII signed the bull Solicitudo omnium ecclesiarum restoring the Jesuit order. Cultural anxieties were atmospheric as the old order was passing and the new was struggling to be born. Within this climate of stress, the new Society of Jesus strained to retrieve what it had been and to transform that into what the Church and its future needed it to become.

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