Callan, what is Claritas?
“Claritas is an online English language journal that seeks to explore a culture of unity in an in-depth and academic fashion. The articles will be peer-reviewed to assure their quality, but above all, as in the Italian Nuova Umanità, they will seek to explore every field in light of that unity which can generate a new world. It does not seek to serve any particular cultural area in the world, but offers anyone who uses English the possibility of expressing their ideas in that language. In order to allow everyone to participate, particularly those who, in different parts of the world, have fewer economic advantages, it is free, although, in order to cover expenses we ask those who can to contribute as they would with any other professional journal they use.”
How does peer review function? Why is that useful?
“It’s really quite simple! Once the editor accepts an article for possible publication, it is sent to be reviewed by someone competent in the subject being treated. For the most part, these reviewers are members of the editorial board. This evaluation can be a real service to the author, as an article might have value, but might need some modifications before it can be published, so specifics improvements will be suggested. I should add that the editorial staff includes academics from institutions all over the world.”
Claritas is a “trans-disciplinary” journal. Why does it take this approach?
“Basically because one aspect of what we see as genuine unity is to respect, even to emphasize, the diversity of disciplines, and to recognize that one can enrich the other. Every discipline is autonomous, but none can stand completely on its own. Claritas addresses all those who wish to join in the conversation about what unity means and how it works. It aims to provide an intellectually respectable forum for promoting and spreading the culture that is born from the charism of unity.”
How is it connected with the Focolare Movement?
“The culture of unity that Claritas seeks to express is born from the charism within the Focolare Movement. Claritas, therefore, is a cultural expression of the Movement, but one does not necessarily have to be a member of the Movement to publish there or to find something useful or even enlightening in reading it.”
Where did the idea of this journal originate?
“Simply from the need to express the culture of unity in English. In practice behind this there were two parallel conversations. One was in Nuova Umanità which recognized the need to publish online in various languages, including, of course, in English. The other came about in the USA, where scholars connected with the Movement felt the necessity to express their ideas in a language that many in the world-wide academic community use. Fortunately, they also found the resources to bring this about. We shall see how things develop but the editorial line of the new journal is based on Nuova Umanità. Certainly it should be distinctive because of its rigorous nature, even as it strives, as much as possible, to be open to everyone.”
On 12 March 2012 the first issue will be published. Can we have a preview?
“We will publish a 1961 talk by Chiara Lubich, where she gives a summary of her experience of ‘Paradise.’ It is a highly significant text, full of cultural consequences or implications. There will be at least one article to contextualize it, and one that will examine the ideas of what it is to be human implicit in Chiara’s experience. In addition, there will be two articles on politics, one dealing with the limitations of political power and the other examining international relations. There will also be articles related to interreligious dialogue, particularly with Jews and Buddhists. Finally, demonstrating the breadth of interests in the journal, there will be reviews of various types of books–including some that go beyond the cultural contexts usually connected with the English language, such as a review examining the concept of ‘fraternity’ from a South American perspective.”
Our best wishes to the journal Claritas!