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Fr Antony Christy Defends Master's Thesis at Salesian University, Rome

By Don Bosco Augustine, sdb
(L-R): Fr Sahayadas Fernando, Fr Aimable Musoni, Fr Antony Christy, Fr Francis-Vincent, Fr Eusebio Munoz.
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Kolkata, Feb. 8. .     ROME :  Fr Lourdunathan Antony Christy, from the Salesian Province of Chennai, defended his thesis for a Master's degree in Theology from the Salesian University of Rome (Department of Youth Pastoral & Catechetics) on February 07, 2014. Titled ''Catechesis in a Pluri-Religious Context: A Study of the Dimension of Interreligious Dialogue within Catechesis in India Today'', the thesis was excellently defended bringing to fruition his two year stint at the Universita' Pontificia Salesiana, Rome.
Fr Christy's thesis was a passionate plea for Catechesis to be carried out with care, in preparing the faithful for and strengthening them in their life and expression of faith, especially within the pluri-religious context of India. Co-relating dialogue and catechesis, it underlined the importance of a two pronged reflection on dialogue in catechesis and a catechesis for dialogue emphasising an adequate, competent and holistic catechesis that deepens the process of dialogue at the service of the Reign of God.

Fr. Christy has used an approach that is contextual, pedagogical and theological at once, in structuring his work in three chatpers with an analytical-theological-projectual method. He highlighted in his thesis one of the principal objectives of Catechesis:  maturity in faith.  Examining the interreligious elements of the maturity, he transits from praxis to reflection on the praxis, from the perspective of the Vatican Council II and the Post Conciliar Magisterium including Evangelii Gaudium, conclusively stating that within a context of religious pluralism, a catechesis that vows to be holistic cannot neglect the dimension of interreligious dialogue.

The examining panel comprising Prof. Fernando Sahayadas (Moderating President), Prof. Aimable Musoni (Thesis-Guide) and Prof. Anthony Francis-Vincent (Reader), appreciated and lauded Fr Christy for the coherence, creative proposals and clarity exhibited in the completion of this study.
Appreciating the effort and quality of the thesis while commending Fr Christy for his able defense, the panel observed: ''the proposals and the reflections offered can be definitely applied to the concrete pluri-religious Indian context and worth researching further in greater detail.''

The assembly gathered for the occasion expressed their appreciation for the thesis and its defence with reverberating cheers and applause chorusing ''continue with the Doctorate!'' indicating that perhaps there is more to come and to be hoped for from Fr Christy.
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