Vincentian Chair of Social Justice 2021–22

"The Summons of Social Justice: Perspectives from Asian Christianities"

Peoples in Asia live our shared aspirations for justice and freedom in challenging situations of poverty and violence. In a series of talks, Fr. Daniel Franklin Pilario, CM, a Vincentian theologian from the Philippines, reflects on the sufferings and pains as well as on the resistance and the hopes for justice among the marginalized victims in Asia and other parts of our world. 

Rev. Daniel Franklin Pilario, C.M., Ph.D., S.T.D.

Rev. Daniel Franklin Pilario, C.M., Ph.D., S.T.D.

Fr. Pilario comes to St. John’s University as a Visiting Professor and the Vincentian Chair of Social Justice 2021–22. He earned his Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies and Sacra Theologia Doctor from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

Before joining St. John’s University, he was Professor and Dean of St. Vincent School of Theology at Adamson University, Quezon City, Philippines. His dissertation was published as Back to the Rough Grounds of Praxis: Exploring Theological Method with Pierre Bourdieu (2005) and was awarded the best research in humanities. His recent publications and research focused on Asian theologies, justice and liberation, inculturation, political theology, Catholic Social teaching, human rights and ecology. 

Throughout his time at St. John’s University, Fr. Pilario will present a four-part lecture series that explores “The Summons of Social Justice: Perspectives from Asian Christianities.”

For more information on Father Pilario, please click here.

Lecture 1: “Extrajudicial Killings: Cries for Justice, Stories of Hope”

Date: Monday, October 18, 2021
Time: 7–8:30 p.m. EST
Location: The Little Theatre
Registration Required: TBA

Since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took over the helm of power in 2016, his flagship program on the “War on Drugs” has killed more than 33,000 alleged drug addicts. The Vincentians have journeyed with the left-behind families, from the funeral of their loved ones to the everyday rebuilding of their lives. The harrowing experience of their widows and orphans is indescribable. But their stories of resistance point to unmistakable hope. What do we learn from them as Christians of our times?

Future Lectures

Lecture 2: “Surviving the Pandemic in the Times of Populism”

Date: Monday, December 6, 2021
Time: 1:50–3:45 p.m. EST
Location: D’Angelo Center Ballroom, Room 416
Registration: required; link to be provided soon.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc in all countries, in all facets of life, in all levels of society. What does a pandemic look like in a poor Asian country with a corrupt system under a populist regime? How do its people survive this ongoing trauma when health institutions are overwhelmed, when vaccine supplies are not coming, when the people have no food and work? How do the poor lead us to imagine a different future? 

Lecture 3: Coming Soon

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2022
Time: 1:50–3:45 p.m. EST
Location: D’Angelo Center Ballroom, Room 416
Registration: required; link to be provided soon.

Lecture 4: “After the End: Ecology and the Apocalypse”

Date: Monday, April 25, 2022
Time: 7–8:30 p.m. EST
Location: TBA
Registration: required; link to be provided soon.

The present ecological crisis is most often framed through the prism of the apocalypse. From the dystopic Hollywood movies to the protests of Greta Thunberg, we are ushered to the impending “end the world.” Apocalypticism has twofold effects: it either paralyzes people or drives them to action. Based on the experiences of people at Ground Zero of typhoon Haiyan in the islands of the Philippines, and in the spirit of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, this talk seeks to ask what elements of apocalyptic spirituality can help us in caring for our common home.