2/2019 English Summary – Pierre Claverie OP

Jean Jacques Pérennès OP
Few Milestones in Deep and Fruitful Life of Pierre Claverie

The author describes important stages of Pierre Claverie’s life, from his childhood, through the time of his formation in the Dominican order, the work in Algerian church until his martyr death in Oran. He points out the factors significantly forming Claverie’s character. Having experienced the power of communal and personal prayer in religious formation, he received proper knowledge for preaching the Gospel and developed this gift during his studies in Saulchoir. A negative experience of living in “a colonial bubble” stimulated his desire to know other people and to respect diversity. Returning to Algeria, he adopted an original approach to interreligious dialogue: a true dialogue necessarily implies a total acceptance of other person’s alterity and gravity of the past. He didn’t give up facing brutality. Willing to risk his life for the truth and humanity he finally offered the highest sacrifice.

Philip C. Naylor
Bishop Pierre Claverie and the Risks of Religious Reconciliation

Bishop Pierre Claverie’s life and death illustrated the challenge posed by interreligious dialogue, especially when pursued in a deteriorating political environment. Furthermore, the bishop embodied the inspiring history of the Church in Algeria, which sought to transform its identity during the intended transition from colonialism to postcolonialism.

Claudio Monge OP
Pierre Claverie – a Source of Inspiration for Young Religious

The author, living in a small Dominican community in Turkey, didn’t know Pierre Claverie in person but he has been deeply influenced by his testimony and inspired by his engagement in the middle of Muslim world. First of all, he found him to be a teacher of an authentic humanity, a real mission and practical theology of dialogue.

According to Claverie, the authentic humanity leans towards life not death, looks for truth and it isn’t spoiled by any myths or ideologies, it hungers for freedom and denies any kind of totalitarian power or repression. Our being is a being in a relationship. Other person challenges our ability to overcome our own limits. We need to meet each other and aim for a brotherhood not by dismissing the differences but by respecting them. A genuine mission means to relate to God where he reveals himself to us and desires to be loved – often in expression of other person, usually at different places than expected. We are not managers of the mission, but the plan has been written in a dialogue with the world where we had been sent.

Lukáš Nosek
“We do not own the truth… I need the truth of others”
Few Reflections on the Meaning of Claverie’s Words

The essay of Lukáš Nosek, an arabist and a catholic theologian, deals with Pierre Claverie’s relation with the truth. It is based on Claverie’s position in the study called Humanité plurielle, which states that Christians are not owners of the truth but rather vice-versa, the truth “owns” Chris­tians. The author asks a question whether this approach isn’t overly relativistic, whether Claverie abandoned catholic or even Christian faith. If argumentative skills and syllogisms are not enough and a need of other person is declared, what kind of concept of the truth is it? Therefore, Nosek explores how Christian and Muslim authorities approach the truth. At first he examines On First Philosophy, the work of al-Kindí, a founder of Islamic and Arabic philosophy. Then he analyzes a passage about grace in Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas, the letter De modo studendi accredited to St. Thomas for a long time and finally the work of a medieval reformer Jan Hus. Nosek uncovers that all the above mentioned thinkers have been defending the autonomy of the truth, the impossibility of its possession but also the chance to approach it. The essential point is the necessity to admit that truth can be revealed through somebody different (a foreigner, a member of other religious group, a heretic). We need others to be able to see things from different angles and to observe mysterious unity of the Truth of being from various perspectives and in particular traditions as it has been declared by fathers of the Second Vatican Council after all.

Hassan Rémaoun
Red and White Roses for Sheikh Claverie

The article of an Algerian Muslim sociologist and a historian represents a remembrance of Pierre Claverie. It demonstrates his ability to share himself, to give and to be honestly a man of a great heart and dialogue.

Redouane Rahal
Following in Footsteps of St. Augustin

A recollection of an Algerian Muslim lawyer compares Pierre Claverie to the St. Augustine’s fighting against Manichaeism and Pelagianism – Claverie, as a man of dialogue, was similarly refusing extremes which betray the God’s thing in community. He was a fond of goodwill, solidarity and brotherhood among people.

Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner
Beatification as a “Sign of Brotherhood” on Algerian Sky

This remark of the beatification ceremony of Pierre Claverie, together with eighteen other Christian martyrs in Algeria, taking place on 18th March 2018 in Oran, refers to the curiosity of such an event in a mostly Muslim country, arising a surprising wave of solidarity and cooperation across religions and society and becoming a sign of a possible path of peace and understanding.

Anne-Catherine Meyer OP
Walking the Path of Following Christ with Pierre Claverie
A Vocation in a Vocation

A religious sister dealing with the message of Pierre Claverie for a long time, picked out from his extensive writings some short texts encouraging reflections on many Christian topics. They are concerned with a vocation to sainthood, prayer and meditation of the Scriptures, Eucharist, Holy Spirit, faith, civic involvement, religious life, hope etc.

Pierre Claverie OP
Humanity in the Plural

In many regards, the crucial essay of Pierre Claverie represents a great defence of plurality and dialogue. It defines his key experience of “a colonial bubble” and the following need to discover another person, a neighbour who could help him to find the truth. Nevertheless, he is not naive and doesn’t look at real situation in Algeria through rose-colored glasses. He identifies ideological and religious problems of the country but they don’t prevent him from defending the supreme necessity to respect another person.

Pierre Claverie OP
The Last Ones and a Rule of Man

Pierre Claverie’s contribution at the conference called Monotheism and conflict, ways and forms of preventing conflicts in the Mediterranean region defends position of “the last ones” from a Christian perspective. He reminds that the key principle of Christianity is “to be the last” as Jesus was himself. He emphasises the love of God to the last ones being a part of the biblical tradition and the following Christian history. He warns against a danger of Christian existence being in a field of force among power and humility and declares that powerful can be transformed only when it has been begun with the little ones; otherwise the powerful are going to be strengthened. A return to the last ones – sadly often being the first ones manipulated by various ideologues, but as well the first ones who reconcile and cooperate – he identifies to be a hope for solving conflicts taking place not only in the Mediterranean world.

Pierre Claverie OP
Salvation in Islam

The study of Pierre Claverie is dedicated to salvation, as it is a central issue of Islam. Right in the introduction he warns against a danger of precipitate comparisons with Christianity or misleading interpretations of seemingly parallel terms. Therefore, he approaches the topic strictly from the Islamic perspective and gradually explores the aspects of the understanding of God in Islam, the anthropology of Islam, faith as an inevitable condition of salvation and the historical and eschatological aspect of salvation. He describes the unique view of faith and salvation in Islam with a potential to become – rid of Islamist ideology – an inspiration for people of other religions. Finally, in the conclusion he is concerned with the issue of salvation outside of Islam.