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Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the WorldJustice in Jesuit Higher Education$
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Mary Beth Combs and Patricia Ruggiano Schmidt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254309.001.0001

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Beauty Limned in Violence

Beauty Limned in Violence

Experimenting with Protest Music in the Ignatian Classroom

(p.15) 1 Beauty Limned in Violence
Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World

Christopher Pramuk

Fordham University Press

The lives of St. Ignatius, the Jesuit martyrs, and a host of saints (Christian and non-Christian) teach us to suffer with others, with strangers beyond our usual horizon, and not, at the end of the day, to restrict our compassion and commitments to merely “our own.” In an Ignatian context, to be transformed by the world implies the willingness, as in the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises, to fix our gaze on Jesus who is still being crucified, and from that place at the foot of the cross, to ask ourselves: “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ? What must I do to help take the crucified peoples down from the cross?” This essay explores one to provoke and awaken these questions, which are the questions of justice and solidarity, in the hearts and imaginations of undergraduate students. How to stir in our students in an imaginative and evocative way both the wondrous desire and graced capacity to transform and be transformed by the world that limns the cruciform heart of Ignatian spirituality? Songs from the venerable tradition of protest music have the capacity to break through reflexive defenses, open our eyes, and convict us with the darker dimensions of reality, the painfully cruciform visage of suffering that we would rather not see. At its best, protest music not only plunges us into the reality of unjust suffering in the world; by doing so it forces us to ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, “What do you intend to do about it?”

Keywords:   St. Ignatius, Martyrs, Justice, Spirtuality

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