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Fr Selva Rathinam SJ


Dr. Selva Rathinam, SJ
President
Pontifical Athenaeum
Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth: Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion
Post Box No. 3022, Nagar Road, Ramwadi, Pune 411 014
India

Selva Rathinam, SJ, was born November 20, 1958 in B. Pallipatty, Dharmapuri diocese, Tamil Nadu. He was ordained a Jesuit priest belonging to Karnataka Province in Bangalore on December 29, 1992. His area of research is the Old Testament Hebrew Prophets. He is trained to apply postcolonial-subaltern methodology to the Biblical texts.

He was officially appointed to teach Scripture from January 1998 and he taught courses like Pentateuch, Hebrew Prophets, Wisdom Literature, Hebrew Language, Biblical History and Archaeology, The Gospel of Matthew and The Vision of Jesus at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), the Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, India. He did his licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome and as part of it he also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He did his Doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, USA where he applied the Postcolonial-dalit Method to the study of the Songs of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. He also teaches at various theological Institutes in India. He has written numerous articles in theological periodicals and presented scholarly papers at the national and the international conferences. He was the Head of the Biblical Department, the Co-ordinator of the Master’s in Biblical Studies and the Chair person of the Doctoral Committee at JDV, Pune. From 2014 he is the President of Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune, India.

He conducts periodically workshops in Ignatian pedagogy of education to the University teachers. He is involved occasionally in parish ministry and is regularly in preaching, teaching and giving retreats. In giving eight days and month long retreats he combines Ignatian spirituality with the Indian Biblical Spirituality as he is trained in Zen meditation under his Guru Amasamy from 1979, in Iyengar branch of Yogasana in Pune in 1992 and in ‘Experiential Psychotherapy’ under its founder Maher, a Canadian Psychotherapist.

Degrees from Ecclesiastical Faculties :

  • 2001-2005: Ph.D/S.T.D in Biblical Theology, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley,Berkeley, USA.
  • 1993-1996: Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (SSL), Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome,Italy.
  • 1989-1992: Bachelor of Theology (BTh), Pontifical Athenaeum (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth: Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, India.
  • 1986-1988: Bachelor in Philosophy (BPh), Pontifical Athenaeum (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth: Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, India.

Degrees from Secular Universities :

  • 1981-1983: Master’s in English Literature (MA), St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), University of Madras, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu.
  • 1976-1979: Bachelor in Botany (BSc), St. Joseph’s College, University of Madras, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu.

Diplomas in European Languages :

  • 1992: German, Indian Institute of German Studies, Goethe Institute, Pune & and in 1995  from Hochshule fur Philosophie, Kaulbachstr.33, 80539 Munchen, Germany.
  • 1993: Italian, Assisi and Rome, Italy.
  • 1995: Latin, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome, Italy.

Scholarly Articles

  • 1999: “The Israelite Prophet: Identification and Relevance”, Vidyajyoti Journal of  Theological Reflection, 63:10 (October 1999), pp. 749-756.
  • 1999: “Religious Witness – A Mission Today: Isaiah 43:8-13”, Vidyajyoti Journal of  Theological Reflection, 63:11 (November 1999), pp. 812-823.
  • 1999: “The Quest in Zen Buddhism”, Jnanadeepa: Pune Journal of Religious Studies 2:2 (July 1999), pp. 54-62.
  • 2001: “The Earthquake: A Faith Perspective”, Vidyajyoti Journal of Theological Reflection, 65:3 (March 2001), pp. 165-174.
  • 2001: “Prophetism in the Hebrew Bible”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection,65:11 (November, 2001): 802-815.
  • 2002: “The Old Testament in John’s Passion Narrative”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection, 66:6 (June, 2002): 405-418.
  • 2002: “Universalism in Amos”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection, 66:9 (September, 2002): 725-738.
  • 2003: “The Way to Discipleship: A Synchronic Narrative Study of Mark 8:27-38”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection 67:8 (August 2003): 679-691.
  • 2006: “Suffering, Resistance and Freedom: A Postcolonial Dalit Study of Isaiah 52:13- 53:12”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection 70:1 (January 2006): 61-73.
  • 2006: “Natural Disasters and God’s Will”, Among Us-Dialogue and Cooperation: Bulletin of International Communication and Relations of the Teachers’ Team, No. 59 (May  2006): 16-20.
  • 2010: “The Jewish Calendar and the Festival Discourses of Jesus in John”, in Andrews Mekkattukunnel (ed.), Lamb of God: Essays in Johannine Theology (Kottayam: Oriental Institute of Religious Studies India Publications, 2010) 69-91.
  • 2010: “Biblical Stories and Oral Cultures of India”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological  Reflection, 74:7 (July, 2010): 485-493.
  • 2011: “Secularism: Biblical Perspective,” in Indian Secularism: A Theological Response, eds Antony Kalliath and Raj Irudaya, Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 2011, 68-83.
  • 2012: “The Dalit Reality: Its Nature, Origin and the Colonial Impact”, Satya Nilayam: Chennai Journal of Intercultural Philosophy, No. 22 (October 2012): 1-21.
  • 2013: “Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation: A Biblical Perspective,” Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection 77:2 (February 2013): 136-154.
  • 2013: “One Indian Church – Many local Churches of India: An Emerging Face of Dalit  Church in India”, in Thomas Cattoi (ed.), Many Tongues, One Spirit: Local  Ecclesiologies in Dialogue (Oakland, California: Solstice Press, 2013 [Published by the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University]) 97-108.
  • 2013: “Justicia, pazy la integridad de la creacion. Una perspective biblica”, Selecciones De Teologia, Vol. 52, No 208 (Octubre-Diciembre 2013): 309-325.
  • 2014: “Insights from the Interaction between the Two Testaments for Inter-religious Dialogue”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection 78:1 (January 2014): 53-68.
  • 2014: “Poverty of the Religious and the Religiousness of Poverty,” Jeevadhara, No. 260 (March 2014): 87-94.
  • 2015: “Globalization and Democracy: A Prophetic Call and Challenge to Religious Life,” Jeevadhara, No. 266 (March 2015): 46-50.
  • 2015: “Integral Theological Formation for Apostolate of Tomorrow in the Light of Vatican II,” Jeevadhara, No. 266 (March 2015): 75-86.
  • 2016: “Responding to the Ecological Crisis Based on the Biblical Creation Stories (Gen 1:27-  28),” Jeevadhara, No. 272 (March 2016): 63-73.
  • 2017: “Biblical Understanding of Peace”, Jnanadeepa: Pune Journal of Religious Studies 21:1 (January 2017), pp. 11-23.
  • 2017: “Complementarity of the Orient and the Occident in Theologizing Today: Keynote  Address” in Breathing with Two Lungs, eds George Ayyaneth and Philip Vysanethu, Pune: Bethany Vedavijnana Peeth, 2017, 24-28.
  • 2017: “Postcolonial Biblical Interpretation for India”, in Mathew Jayanth, SJ., (ed.), Indian  Theologies: In Search of Methods and Models for Theologizing, Christian World  Imprints, New Delhi, 2017, 59-83.
  • 2017: “The Motif of the Poor, the Widow and the Orphan”, Jeevadhara, No. 278 (March  2017): 20-32.

Three Most Significant Articles :

  • 2001: “Prophetism in the Hebrew Bible”, Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection, 65:11 (November, 2001): 802-815.
  • 2003: “The Way to Discipleship: A Synchronic Narrative Study of Mark 8:27-38”,Vidyajyoti: Journal of Theological Reflection 67:8 (August 2003): 679-691.
  • 2013: “Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation: A Biblical Perspective,” Vidyajyoti:   Journal of Theological Reflection 77:2 (February 2013): 136-154.

Edited Work with Editorial Popular Articles :

  • 2013: “Faith from Biblical Perspective,” Editorial, Jeevadhara, No. 254 (March 2013), 83-  85.
  • 2014: “A Poor Church for the Poor,” Editorial, Jeevadhara, No. 260 (March 2014), 85-86.
  • 2015: “Integrated Religious Life and Integral Formation,” Editorial, Jeevadhara, No. 266  (March 2015), 5-6.
  • 2016:  “Blessed are the Merciful,” Editorial, Jeevadhara, No. 272 (March 2016), 5-8.
  • 2017: “Befriending the Other,” Editorial, Jeevadhara, No. 278 (March 2017), 5-6.

Papers Presented at Regional, National and International Seminars :

  •  2004:  Paper presented entitled: “Early Indian Thought: A Key to Unlock Qoheleth” at the Conference on “Engaging Particularities II: New Directions in Comparative Theology,  Interreligious Dialogue, Theology of Religions and Missiology”, Boston College,  Boston, USA, 26th-28th March 2004.
  • 2004:  Paper presented entitled: “Suffering, Resistance and Freedom: A Postcolonial-Dalit Study of Isa 52:13-53:12″ at the sixty-sixth International Meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association, August 8-11, 2004, at St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada.
  • 2008:  Presented a Paper entitled, “Paul and the Old Testament” at the National Seminar on The Relevance of St. Paul to Us in India Today from October 17-20, 2008, at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, India.
  • 2009:  Presented a paper entitled, “One Indian Church – Many Local Churches of India: An Emerging Face of Dalit Church in India” at the International Seminar on Local  Ecclesiologies in Dialogue organized by the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley Co- sponsored by Santa Clara University from May 28-31, 2009.
  • 2009:  Presented a Paper entitled, “Biblical Stories and Oral Cultures of India” on October 31, 2009 at the International Conference on Biblical Stories in Digital Culture  organized by IMPACT, Cochin at NSK, Bangalore, India.
  • 2010:  Presented a Paper entitled, “Postcolonial Biblical Interpretation for India” at the Seminar organized by JDV/RTCs (Regional Theology Centres)/Extension Centres/   Affliated Institutions on Indian Theological Methods from February 5-6, 2010, at JDV (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth), Pune, India.
  • 2010:  Presented a paper entitled, “Secularism: Biblical Perspectives” at the Annual  Conference of Indian Theological Assoiciation (ITA) held from April 24-28, 2010 at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India.
  • 2011:  Presented a paper entitled, “Justice and Peace in the Bible” in VIVAT International  Workshop organized by SSpS & SVD in Indore held from August 7-12, 2011.
  • 2011:  Presented a paper entitled, “Participatory Church from the Biblical Perspective: Challenges and Issues today” at the Conference organized by JEPASA (Jesuit Pastors of South Asia) from October 17-20, 2011 at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, India
  • 2012: Presented a paper on “Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation: A Biblical Perspective.” at the National Consultation Seminar on Human Promotion and Integrity of Creation organized by Ishvani Kendra, Pune from August 05-09, 2012.
  • 2013: Presented a paper entitled, “Insights from the Interaction between the Two Testaments for Interreligious Dialogue” at the Symposium organized by Theologische Fakultat  der Katholischen Universitat, Eichstatt-Ingolstadt in Germany from January 08-09, 2013.
  • 2013:Presented a paper on “The Relevance of Vatican II documents, Dei Verbum  and Presbyterorum Ordinis” at St Xavier’s College, Kolkata on March 16 and 17, 2013 in a programme organized jointly by Morning Star College, Barrackpore, and St. Xavier’s  College (Autonomous), Kolkata.
  • 2013: Participated in the International Jesuit Consultation and Planning Seminar for the Possible immersion programme in the Holy Land for the Jesuits in Formation  organized at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, April 15-26, 2013.
  • 2013: Presented a paper on “Nurturing Jesus Spirituality and Human Values through Higher Education for Nation Building” at the Conference organized by AIACHE for Vice Chancellors and Principals at Christ University, Bangalore, May 1-3, 2013.
  • 2013: Conducted a seminar of one-day each on “Biblical and Ignatian Pedagogy for HigherEducation” to the teachers of St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore (31st May, 2013); Arulanandar College, Karumathur (June 17, 2013); Fatima College, Madurai (June 18, 2013) and St. Mary’s College, Tuticorin (June 19, 2013).
  • 2013: Presented a Paper on “A Poor Church for the Poor: A Biblical Perspective” at a symposium organized by the Social Wing of JDV, at JDV (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth),Pune on 12th September 2013.
  • 2013: Presented a paper on “The Formation for Prophetic Mission” to the CRI unit of Vasai  on October 06, 2013 in Nalasapara.
  • 2013: Presented a Paper entitled, “Faith, Reason and Wisdom: A Biblical Perspective” at the Seminar organized by JDV from October 12-13, 2013, at JDV (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth), Pune.
  • 2013: Presented papers on “Faith and Spirituality of Jesus” and “Faith and Theology of Saint Paul” at Ashirvad, Bangalore on 2nd November 2013 at the Faith Seminar for the Jesuits of the Karnataka Province.
  • 2013: Presented a paper on “The Insights of “Evangelii  Gaudium”” to all the Religious  animators in Bijapur on 8th December 2013 at the seminar organized by the Bijapur  Jesuit Mission.
  • 2013: Presented a paper on “The Overview of the Verbum Domini and the Proper Disposition to Lectio Divina,” at the Seminar on Lectio Divina organized by CCBI Commission for Bible, Prakash Bhavan, Pune, Jan 24-26, 2013.
  • 2013: Presented a paper on “Response to the Challenges of New Evangelization,” to the Religious Superiors of the Congregation of Charity as the preparation for their Chapter, Dharwad, Feb. 18, 2013.
  • 2014: Presented a Paper entitled, “Integral Theological Formation for Apostolate of Tomorrow in the Light of Vatican II and its aftermath for the Indian Context” at the Plenary Meeting of Extension Centres organized by JDV from February 1-2, 2014, at JDV (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth), Pune.
  • 2014: Presented a paper on “Dharma of Jesus” at the seminar organized by JDV from October 11-12, 2014, at JDV, Pune.
  • 2014: Presented a paper on “Facing the World Challenges as Indian Theologians,” at the Indian Jesuits Theologians Meet at NRC (Navjivan Renewal Centre), Delhi from October 19-21, 2014.
  • 2014: Presented a paper on “Consecrated Life based on Perfectae Caritatis” to the Superiors of the Sisters of Charles Borromeo at their Generalate, Kalyan, October 24, 2014.
  • 2015: Presented a paper entitled: “Responding to the Ecological Crisis based on the Biblical Creation Stories (Gen 1:27-28),” at the seventh International Innsbruck-JDV Conference on “Ecology from Theological, Philosophical and Spiritual Perspectives” held at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune, India, 18-21 September 2015.
  • 2015: Presented a paper on “Why Jesus matters for facing the Challenges of the World Today,” at the National Conference on the Emerging Challenges to Christian Mission, 5-9 October 2015 organized by Ishvani Kendra, Pune.
  • 2015: Presented a paper on “Biblical Understanding of Peace”, at the seminar on “The Challenge of Peace and Harmony: An Indian Moral Theological Response,” organized by the Association of the Moral Theologians of India (AMTI) on October 23-25, 2015, at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune.
  • 2015: Presented a paper on “The Poor, the Widow and the Orphan,” at the International Conference on Befriending the Other on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune, 24-28 November 2015 organized by JDV, Pune.
  • 2016: Presented a paper on “Complementarity of the Orient and the Occident in  Theologizing Today,” at the IV BVP Theological Colloquium on Breathing with Two  Lungs: Complementarity of the Orient and the Occident in the Theologizing Today, 8-10 January 2016 organized by BVP Institute of Oriental Theology, Pune.
  • 2016: Presented a paper on “Resurrection: Confessional Formulas and Gospel Narratives for Discipleship,” at St Xavier’s College, Kolkata on March 12-13, 2016 in a programme  organized jointly by Morning Star College, Barrackpore, and St. Xavier’s  College (Autonomous), Kolkata.
  • 2016: Presented a paper on “Mercy that includes Justice, a model for Church’s Mission based on Misericordiae Vultus” at the seminar organized by the Association of the Moral  Theologians of India (AMTI) on October 21-23, 2016, at Pedro Arrupe Institute, Raia, Goa.
  • 2016: Presented a paper on the “(Old Testament) Biblical Interpretation for India” at the Biennial Conference 2016 on Challenges and Possibilities of Interpreting the Bible in India Today organized by SBSI (Society for the Biblical Studies in India) at the LITE (Laity Institute for Transformation Education) in Chennai from Nov. 21-23, 2016.

Guidance of Doctoral Defence Dissertation :

  1.  Guided Fr. Dionysius Lawrence who defended his thesis on Mar. 10, 2015. Topic of his thesis was “THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS Evolving a Theology of Social Justice from the Book of Isaiah through a Study of the Hebrew Roots and its Implications for Indian Subaltern Liberation”
  2. Guided Fr. Sunny Kunnel, SJ who defended his thesis on Mar. 30, 2015. Topic of his thesis was “DIVINE SELF-REVELATION AND CREATIVE HUMAN RESPONSE: An Exegetical-Theological Study of Exodus 3:1-15 And its Implications for an Integral Liberation of Human Society in the Indian Context”
  3. Guided Fr. Yesu Karunanidhi who defended his thesis on Mar. 14, 2017. Topic of his thesis was “SWEET IS THE LIGHT: A Comparative Reading of Ecclesiastes 11:4-12:8 and Paṭṭiṉattār’s Uṭalkūṟṟuvaṇṇam”

Academic :

  • Lecturer of Scripture, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune, India (from 1997)
  • Reader of Scripture, JDV, Pune, India (from 2007)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture, Ishwani Kendra, Pune, India (2005-2013)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture, Jeevan Jyothi Institute, Hyderabad (2005-2008)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture at Regional Inter-Congregational Theology, Bhopal (2008-2012)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture at Jesuit Regional Theologate, Bangalore (from 2008)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture, Pontifical Institute of St. Peter’s, Bangalore (2010)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture, NVSC, Pune, India (2011-2014)
  • Visiting Lecturer of Scripture at Mater Dei, Goa (from 2012)
  • Formator in a Jesuit Scholasticate, De Nobili College, Pune (1998-2001 and from 2005)

Courses taught at JDV :

  • Pentateuch (1997-98; 1998-99; 1999-2000; 2000-2001; 2007-08
  • The vision of Jesus (1998-99; Optional for BTh)
  • Prophets (1999-2000; 2000-2001; 2005-06; 2006-07; 2007-08; 2008-09; 2009-10; 2011-12; 2012-13; 2013-14; 2014-15; 2015-16; 2016-17
  • Basic Biblical Hebrew (2000-2001; 2005-06; 2007-08; 2013-14; 2014-15
  • Advanced Biblical Hebrew (2006-07; 2009-10;
  • Biblical Hebrew (2008-09; 2009-10; 2010-11; 2011-12; 2012-13; 2014-15; 2016-17 for MBS)
  • The Gospel of Matthew (2000-2001)
  • Introduction to the OT and the Religion of Israel (2005-06; 2006-07; 2007-08; 2008-09; 2009-10; 2010-11; 2011-12; 2014-15; 2015-16
  • Asian Biblical Hermeneutics (2005-06; Seminar for BTh)
  • Feminist Interpretation of the Bible (2006-07; Seminar for BTh)
  • The Biblical Foundations for Mission (2006-07; 2008-09; 2009-10; 2010-11, 2011-12 for MTh)
  • Subaltern Interpretation of the Bible (2007-08; 2010-11; 2011-12; 2012-13 Seminar for BTh)
  • OT Textual Criticism and Postcolonial Readings (2008-09; 2009-10 for MBS)
  • The Servant Songs in Second Isaiah (2008-09; 2009-10; 2010-11; 2011-12 for MBS)
  • Third World Biblical Interpretation (2009-10; Seminar or BTh
  • Gospel of Mark (2009-10; 2012-13; 2013-14 Diploma Course for Women Religious
  • Gospel of John (2010-11; Diploma Course for Women Religious
  • Biblical Geography and Archaeology (2010-11; 2011-12; 2012-13; 2013-14; 2014-15 for MBS)
  • Academic Field Study in the Holy Land (2010-11; 2012-13; 2013-14; 2014-15 for MBS)
  • Discipleship in the Gospels (2013-14; 2014-15 Seminar for BTh)
  • Biblical Spirituality (2013-14 for MBS)
  • Wisdom Literature and Psalms (2013-14; 2015-16 for BTh)
  • Walter Kasper’s Philosophical and Theological understanding of Mercy (2016-17; Seminar for BTh)

Administration :

  • President of the Pontifical Atheneum, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune (from 2014)
  • Sectional Editor, Jeevadhara – A Journal for Socio-Religious Research, Kottayam, Kerala (from 2013)
  • The Coordinator of MTh in Biblical Studies, JDV, Pune, India (2010-2013)
  • Executive Council Member of the Faculty of Theology, JDV, Pune (2009-2013)
  • Chairperson of the Doctoral Committee, JDV, Pune, (2008-11)
  • The Head of the Department of Scriptural Studies, JDV, Pune, India (2007-2013)
  • The Member of the MTh Board, JDV, Pune, India (2006-2009)
  • Assistant Parish Priest, Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, Mariapura (1997)

Membership in Learned Bodies :

  • Member of the Society for Biblical Studies in India (SBSI)
  • Member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (CBA), USA
  • Member of the Associazione ex-alunni/e del Pontificio Istituto Biblico, Rome, Italy
  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal – Jeevadhara, Kottayam, Kerela