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Lai, Yan-ho (2020) 'Discernment of Spirits and Pastoral Circle in Social Movement: A Theological Reflection on Hong Kong’s Anti-extradition Movement.' Hong Kong Journal of Catholic Studies, 11. pp. 138-191.

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Tensions between developing spiritual growth and civil resistance often occur when spirituality is perceived as merely a personal pursuit of internal tranquillity and transcendence while civil resistance is regarded as generating confrontations, struggles and sometimes violence against political authority. Such tensions become more prominent in the year 2019 and 2020 when social protests flourish against political, economic and racial injustice in the world. This article responds to such tension by studying how the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and Gerard Whelan’s theological framework of pastoral circle can be applied in discerning the ways that individual Christians respond to the development of Hong Kong since the antiextradition movement commenced in 2019. This article argues that the social movements in Hong Kong in 2019 revealed the shortcomings of Hong Kong’s social infrastructures and cultural superstructures, but at the same time, allowed for the finding of seeds of redemption in the vibrant and resilient civil society, the development of which has been nurtured by previous social movements in Hong Kong. The Spiritual Exercises and the pastoral circle assist in the development of personal discipleship via strengthened identification of beloved sinners, discernment of spirits and resilience-building under the idea of agere contra. Individual believers and Christian communities have also been invited to develop communal discernments and contextual theologies to enrich the mission of the Church. This article contributes to the theological debate on the relationship between Ignatian Spirituality and political activism by offering first-hand experiences from a Chinese society, alongside demonstrating how discernment of spirits can be carried out by Christian activists and Christian communities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Ignatian Spirituality, Discernment of Spirits, Social Movement, Politics and Religion, Hong Kong
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
ISSN: 2219764
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2021 10:11
Related URLs: http://catholic ... (Publisher URL)

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