It is published here the Introduction of Special Issue of the Journal of Moral Theology (JMT) that published a full volume in Spanish for the first time. This issue is a result of collaborative work of theologians from Latin American, members of the network CTEWC (Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church). The full issue if available at JMT website. All articles are in Spanish, with abstracts in both Spanish and English.
Introduction to the Special Volume in Spanish of JMT
Alexandre A. Martins and MT Dávila (editors)*
The COVID-19 pandemic has created innumerable challenges for the world. At the time of this publication, May 2021, we have more than three million deaths reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) because of this disease. More than a million of these deaths occurred in the Americas. Beyond direct deaths caused by COVID-19, the COVID-19 pandemic has also created many problems and challenges in almost all dimensions of human existence and its organization in societies, ranging from unemployment to expanding mental health crises. And, as always in an unjust world, all of these challenges and issues have disproportionately impacted and killed the already marginalized and oppressed communities, such as the poor and ethnic minorities.
A group of theological ethicists from the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Committee of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC) quickly gathered after the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak to express solidarity to one another and reflect on the challenges that this outbreak was creating for their countries and the region as a whole. They decided to expand this gesture of solidarity and shared information to the entire region in order to create an opportunity of reflection, learning, compassion, and the creation of resources to help their communities challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, a regional colloquium under the topic COVID-19 and the Ethical Challenges in the Region: Building Bridges between Theological Ethics, Church, and Society, occurred virtually on September 05, 2020.
A total of 110 theologians attended the Colloquium, representing fifteen Latin American and Caribbean Countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Republica Dominicana, Uruguay), and CTEWC members from nine other countries (Belgium, Germany, India, Kenya, France, Italy, Philippines, Portugal, and the USA).
This Colloquium was a moment of encounter and solidarity among theological ethicists, in which all could learn from each other, and express solidarity and love as a global community shaped by members who care for each other and for the challenges that all are facing, and those of the communities we represent.
The current issue of JMT features
selected essays from this Colloquium. The authors examine ethical challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created in the region, considering three key areas of interlocution and relationship among themselves: theological ethics, church, and society. The diversity of countries and particular views represented in the essays reflect the diversity of the Colloquium and the dynamism of the Latin American and Caribbean region of CTEWC.
We conclude by thanking all those who participated in the Colloquium, particularly the authors of the essays, who received feedback from peers during the Colloquium and in the editorial process of this volume. We also thank all CTEWC regional and global leaders for their support. We are grateful to Jason King and M. Therese Lysaught, of the JMT editorial board, for their support and encouragement for the publication of this special Spanish edition in a journal that is primarily published only in English language. We believe this is the first such language crossover for a major Catholic publication in the U.S. This volume offers a great contribution to the Latin American and Caribbean region and for all those who read Spanish and/or have Spanish as a primary language in the USA.
We offer this volume for all the victims of COVID-19 in the Americas.
* Alexandre A. Martins is an assistant professor at Marquette University in Wisconsin, USA. He is Coordinator of CTEWC Latin American Regional Committee. Author of several articles and books in social ethics and bioethics, such as Covid-19, Política e Fé: Bioética em diálogo com a realidade enlouquecida(Gênio Criador, 2020);The Cry of the Poor: liberation ethics and justice in health care (Lexington Books, 2020)
* María Teresa Dávila is visiting associate professor of practice in the department of Religious and Theolgical Studies at Marrimack College, Massachusetts, USA. She is co-editor of Living With(out) Borders: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Movement of Peoples (Orbis Books, 2016). Dávila is the president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS).