From North to South: Southern Scholars Engage with Edward Schillebeeckx

“From North to South: Southern Scholars Engage with Edward Schillebeeckx” edited by Helen F Bergin OP

After four years of research, writing, reflecting together, editing, and re-editing, eight New Zealand and Australian theologians have each produced a section to the above, challenging and hope-filled book. The book launch for this work was celebrated at St Columba Centre, Auckland, on 25 September 2013, with three of the contributors, the publisher, and the editor, our own Sister Helen Bergin, present. Everyone was congratulating Helen on the thorough and professional way in which she has supported all the contributors since 2009 when this project started. There was also an enthusiastic crowd in attendance.

Edward Schillebeeckx (1914-2009), a Belgian Dominican theologian, so inspired the Church that he became an important contributor to the thought of Vatican II. The eight contributors have taken a theme from the writings of Schillebeeckx and related it to a context that has relevance for us e.g., suffering and the treatment of Maori in colonial New Zealand; hope in God in the face of the Pike River mine disaster. The ninth chapter by Kathleen McManus OP engages from the North with the chapters from the South.

At the launch, the contributors, editor and publisher all spoke briefly, giving us a taste for this pertinent and disturbing book related to events from our own society. Then we prayed and sang in thanksgiving for the new book, and the Dominicans present blessed the book. Bishop Pat Dunn had a final word. He asked us to open our hearts and minds to the book’s refreshing hope and challenge, and our wallets and cheque books to buy it! Much conversation, meeting friends, thoughtful reflections/ memories, and a lovely supper followed.

Contributed by Patricia Hannan OP