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Title: Stoking embers, unfolding beliefs : struggling for meaning beyond the numbers
Other Titles: Religious beliefs and attitudes of Maltese university students revisited - 2009
Authors: De Lucca, Jean-Paul
Keywords: Questionnaires -- Data processing
Religions -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: University of Malta. Chaplaincy
Citation: De Lucca, J. P. (2009). Stoking embers, unfolding beliefs : struggling for meaning beyond the numbers. In J. Bartolo, A. Buhagiar, J. P. De Lucca, P. Galea, M. A. Lauri, C. Rossi, C. Tabone, E. Warrington (Eds.), Religious beliefs and attitudes of Maltese university students revisited – 2009 (pp.37-48). Msida: University Chaplaincy.
Abstract: In introducing this conversation beyond the numbers, I will start from a number of assumptions which seem to me rather legitimate, though certainly not free from contestation. The first assumption is that this study has something to say to young people themselves, as we are all on a journey to give meaning to our lives and, in many different ways, we all try being true to ourselves. A good number of them believe, while others struggle to believe or to reconcile what they believe with how they live. Some would like to know more in order to believe or live better, and there are some who, following some kind of reflection, have rejected believing in what they were told to believe. One is likely to find some embers to stoke even among those whose rejection is based on indifference. Secondly, I would assume that since the Chaplaincy went to the trouble of carrying out this study, it is interested in having a better picture of the scenario within which it operates with the view of reviewing its role at University and the services it offers. Since the Church’s presence at the university campus is felt mainly through the Chaplaincy and the Faculty of Theology, I also hope that the Church itself, as an institution, would be interested in being part of this conversation as it seeks to listen and to respond in a manner that is engaging with its interlocutors. Thirdly, I think we can, at least in principle, accept that the findings of this study are of interest to society at large, since university students represent a significant cohort of the population. Irrespective of the different views on the role of faith and religion in society, there is no question that for as long as belief is important to many members of society, any form of real dialogue within it cannot afford to pay no attention to this aspect of many peoples’ lives. This is even more so when attitudes towards faith and religion seem to correlate with other aspects of public life which are not directly linked to religious belief. In a few words, the folding and unfolding of religious beliefs and attitudes reveal many differentiating processes involving views, experiences and sensitivities. These go far beyond simply exposing the changing scenario of values and approaches: they invite a reflection (on a personal, ecclesial and social level) that touches upon the very fundamental questions of the search for one’s personal authenticity and, on the level of the community (the community of believers or the social community), the shared horizons of significance within which authenticity may be sought and experienced.
ISBN: 9789993207276
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtPhi

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