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Francisco Varo, Professor of Theology

A theology at the heart of the university

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:16:00 +0000 Published in Ecclesia Magazine

On October 6, the School of Theology of the University of Navarra celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, five decades of maturity at the service of the Church in dialogue with science and culture. In 1967 began its activity the high school of Theology of the University of Navarra that in 1969, after two years of activity, would be erected by the Holy See in School.

The high school of Theology was born in creative, convulsive and hopeful moments such as those that followed the closing of the Second Vatican Council. The encyclical Populorum Progressio had been published a few months before the beginning of the academic year, and the beginning of its academic activities, on October 16 of that year, coincided with the celebration of the first Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (September 29-October 29). A week earlier, on October 8, St. Josemaría had preached in Pamplona a homily that would later be published with the emblematic degree scroll "Passionately Loving the World. The open-air setting of that Eucharist offered an evocative landscape of the setting in which to carry out theological work: "We find ourselves," he observed, "in a unique church; one could say that the nave is the university campus ; the altarpiece, the Library Services of the University; over there, the machinery that raises new buildings; and above, the sky of Navarre.... Doesn't this enumeration confirm to you, in a plastic and unforgettable way, that ordinary life is the true place of our Christian existence? My children, there where your brothers and sisters are, there where your aspirations, your work, your loves are, there is the place of your daily meeting with Christ.

Theology had the privilege of being born as one School more in a University that, over the years, has established itself as a center educational of reference letter international research medical, communication, Economics or engineering. At the heart of the University, the School of Theology constitutes a center of study and interdisciplinary dialogue with the civil Schools , open to all fields of humanistic and scientific thought.

In contemporary society there is no lack of issues that challenge humanity and call for joint reflection from various complementary perspectives. Let us think, for example, of the preservation of natural resources and the care of planet Earth, where biblical faith in listening and dialogue with the natural sciences can suggest creative contributions, as demonstrated by the recent encyclical Laudato si' of Pope Francis. Or, an in-depth analysis of the realities that generate situations of poverty and the search for a sustainable development call for experts in sociology, international law and Economics to work side by side with those who can contribute ethical perspectives until creative proposals are found to help solve the problems. The same is true of the importance of producing objective and truthful information that is respectful of people; or of designing decent and functional housing and neighborhoods where families have a suitable environment for parents and children to harmoniously develop all the natural and spiritual facets of their personalities. In these and many other areas theology can and should be present.

In this professional and social framework is where the School of Theology of the University of Navarra is called to carry out its formative and research task, directly facing the social and cultural challenges that arise, and looking for high level answers. Science and faith, study and solidarity, academic level and closeness to those who suffer and those in need constitute the framework in which its daily activity unfolds.