Original Research

Aspects of political theology in the spiritual autobiography of Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Iuliu-Marius Morariu
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5932 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5932 | © 2020 Iuliu-Marius Morariu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 January 2020 | Published: 04 August 2020

About the author(s)

Iuliu-Marius Morariu, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; and, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

By resorting to the spiritual autobiography of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, an important religious and cultural personality of the 20th century, the author tries to emphasise the aspects of political theology that defined her way of acting and thinking and to show how she understood the relationship between religion and politics. Topics like poverty, love, giving, peace, sacrifice or responsibility are presented as keywords in the understanding of a complex vision with interdisciplinary relevance, while the two levels of poverty, namely the material one, often accompanied by physical pain, maladies and other types of suffering, and the spiritual one, that is not necessarily related to the lack of basic material needs and can be found even in developed countries like the United States of America or Japan, are seen through the lenses of political theology. The author shows that, by finding practical bridges between spirituality and politics and by using as sources of inspiration not only Christian thinkers, but also thinkers from other religions, like Ghandi, the Albanese militant accomplished her vocation and also offered important and perennial principles which can help in the understanding of the contemporary world and in finding solutions to some of its crises. Although her message is a sort of combination between theology and social life, the political accents, sometimes theoretical, at other times practical, are important and can be used today for the development of a sustainable discourse for both the theological and the political sphere.

Contribution: The article brings into attention a spiritual autobiography that was not valorised properly by the contemporary research and in the same time offers an inter-disciplinary approach with ecumenical value.


Keywords

political theology; social theology; ecumenism; Teresa of Calcutta; pours

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Crossref Citations

1. The poor and their image in the spiritual autobiographies of the Christian space of the 19th and 20th centuries
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DIALOGO  vol: 7  issue: 2  first page: 51  year: 2021  
doi: 10.51917/dialogo.2021.7.2.4