Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus



29 May 2017, STS Jerusalem
D’SOUZA Romero Luciano sdb

On the 29 May 2017 at 9.00 am, Deacon James Raj Samynathan sdb began to defended his Theological Synthesis entitled, “Jesus us the Definitive Revelation of God, Revealing the face of the Father as Mercy. This spells out the Vocation of Humanity, and the Mission of the Church is to show it forth”. The panel examining the work of James Raj were Rev. Fr Biju Michael sdb (President of STS); Rev. Fr Pier Giorgio Gianazza sdb (Tutor & Guide for the Synthesis) and Rev. Fr Andrzej Toczyski sdb (Reader for the Synthesis). The President Fr Biju Michael began by giving a welcome to students and staff present as well as stating the procedure for the defence. He introduced Student James Raj to present his Synthesis. James began by giving thanks to God, family and friends, and all the Salesians who helped and accompanied him in his journey thus far. He gave a 10-minute presentation of his Synthesis. In a nutshell, he summarized the three chapters wherein he shows first, the gradual revelation of God: ways, contents, and goals of revelation; second, the face of mercy in the image of Jesus Christ who reveals the Father’s mercy; and third, about the mission and teachings of the Church in the vocation of humanity.

The first examiner on the defence was Rev. Fr Pier Giorgio Gianazza sdb, the tutor who congratulated the student for a commendable work done on the theme of Mercy as well as praised him for the commitment and hard work on his thesis, and for the constant dialogue and meeting for the working and submissions of the draft. He also acknowledged him for this good assimilation and personal reflection on the title chosen. The question asked was about God being the creator and man being the co-worker in His creation and the role of Jesus Christ in his creation in view of the new heaven and new earth. To this, the student James Raja answered, quoting scripture passages from the New and Old Testament as well as from Church document (Dei Verbum) and Church father (Origen).

The second examiner on the defence was Rev. Fr Andrzej Toczyski sdb, the reader who credited the student for his good theological synthesis on the topic of mercy and for his bringing out the relevance of mercy which manifests the father’s mercy. The thesis was well articulated with coherent arguments in the three chapters. However, the reader posed reflective and practical questions to the student: first, how is revelation and theology (knowledge of God) necessary for salvation? Second, for this well written condense and reflective thesis, how would you supplement the understanding of mercy in implementing and applying the principles of the catholic social teaching of the Church? To this, the student answered by quoting the corporal and spiritual works of mercy from the scriptures and made interesting connection to the principles of catholic social teachings.

Lastly, Fr Biju Michael, asked questions based on the thesis with regard to the role, function, and juxtaposition of the justice and mercy of God and the understanding of the role of repentance in light of human freedom?

After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defence panel met and Rev Dr Biju Michael sdb read the declaration on behalf of the Church and the Pontifical University that James Raj Samynathan sdb officially concludes his Bachelors of Theology degree.

The concluding ceremony took place by 10.00 am with vestition of the student by the panel examining his Theological Synthesis.

We congratulate him on his completion of the degree for the Bachelors in Theology and pray for his ordination to the Order of the Presbyterate which will be on 22nd July 2017 (Chennai, India).

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