Religious creativity


‘”I am the principal servant of Christ… That is why I have longed so much to meet with you” This is how Pope John Paul II addressed the assembled leaders of the world’s religions at their histori-cal meeting in Assisi. The words express the dynamics of the missionary experience. A declaration of personal identity is linked with a passion to meet others; the deeper the knowledge of personal identity, the stronger the desire to “get to know” other people. Our modern society erects a barrier between identity and meeting; to converse one must give up a part of one’s self, and to protect a personal identity one must avoid meeting others. In this way the most exalting experience of Christian life, that of the mission, the encounter of the Christian with other people, cultures and religions, has been always ridiculed as being nothing other than conflict, war and colonization. Instead, true missionary activity signifies a passion to communicate and transmit the answers to the vital questions of religion around which every society or culture is constructed; it manifests it self as a sincere amazement for man, his works, his life and his myths. The heart and the eyes embrace the newly encountered reality, and from this embrace a new understanding and transfiguration of the world is born. Missionary work is not an exotic adventure; it is the courage of the encounter, the gift of life and a meaningful historical construction. The exhibition illustrates three such missionary experiences in dif-ferent historical and cultural contacts. The Juvenile Arts Centre ( Guinca Bissau, Africa) Ermanno Battisti (PIME) has gathered together more than 140 young people from different tribes in a school for wood carving, bestowing artistic dignity upon the objects of religion and of daily life of the Guineans. The study and protection of Indian tribes of the Amazon (Brazil) Missionaries Renato Trevisan and Angelo Costalonga (ISME) have worked for many years now with the Kayapo indians defending them from outside interference. Chinese society at the beginning of the twentieth century Leone Nani; another missionary of the PIME, who worked in the nor-thern Chinese province of Shen-si from 1903 to 1914, took these interesting photographs of Chinese life which are displayed here for the first time in public. The collection includes images of miners, fishermen, mandarins, ladies of the court, young and old people and religious and military ceremonies. The PIME (Pontifical Institute for Missions Abroad) is a community of priests and lay workers who have dedicated their lives to the non-Christian countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America,’


20 Agosto 1988 - 27 Agosto 1988


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions