A Path through Politics and Theology

A Path through Politics and Theology

Gabriel de Almeida, Brazil


"To Know Through Wonderment"



Gabriel de Almeida is 25 years old.  He was born in Rio de Janeiro, an active and dynamic Brazilian metropolis: it will be the site of the next World Youth Day and the 2014 World Soccer Cup. From the great Rio, Gabriel has also brought to Sophia the vivacity and the impetus towards the future of the carioca population.

The course of study he is concluding at Sophia presents various points of interest.  



What is the reason for your enrollment at the IUS?


It was a decision that matured gradually.  I already had some knowledge about Sophia and of what it offered, and at a certain point, this idea crossed paths with my studies.  On bringing home with me a degree in International Relations, I felt the need to step beyond the confines of political theories and to explore the future of humanism.  After more than four and a half years at university, I was finding myself…… with a great thirst: I was seeking where and how to answer my own questions.  What some of my friends were telling me about Sophia where they themselves had studied, helped me understand that the IUS could be the right place for me to find answers.


Why did you choose to specialize in Trinitarian Ontology since your studies had been in the Political field?  What relationship is there between the two?


It’s true, I arrived at Sophia thinking of following the same specialization in politics; it was the most natural choice for me.  But after a couple of months, two impressions came to my awareness.  The first was one of wonderment:  the wonder of coming to know who Jesus is, perhaps for the first time in such a personal way, especially during the course on the Gospel of Mark.  The second put me before a new understanding of myself, which happened gradually on the occasion of a seminar on theological topics: I felt ‘able’ to get close to Jesus’s thought, to that which Paul calls “our Christ”. Not out of some ambition of knowing the meaning of everything, at arriving to possess the logic of reality, but of a discovery of a place wholly human from which to read the world and its challenges, while respectful of its languages and reasons.  And what better place would there be for God Trinity to manifest Himself?


You are enrolled in the second year: have you started work on your thesis?


Yes, I already have the topic for it, the phenomenology of the ‘stranger’, if one could say it this way, a theme of great impact in politics, but which I want to analyze starting from its philosophical foundations.   I am finding myself therefore having to deal with politics once again, but my looking will be of a different kind, because I will treat migratory fluxes crossing contemporary societies to help one see the emergence, from a viewpoint of knowledge inspired by reasons of love, of new political and cultural variations.   The questions I have are still many, there’s no doubt.  Every time I think of having gotten an answer, I realize I have only taken the first steps.


You have been at the IUS for two years now: how would you define the time you have been living here?


I would like to continue using the metaphor of the ‘place’: Sophia is above all a place from which to look.....at the numberless, various human realities starting from fraternity, from a deeply innovative idea of sociality.

Furthermore Sophia is giving me the tools to reflect with, but also to act concretely keeping the individual at the centre in the richness of his relationships.  I know that there will be many other moments of ‘wonder’ waiting for me, of the philosophical wonder that anticipates and unveils knowledge, and together with the other students and all of the IUS community I feel ever more directed in my journey.


text: Melchior Nsavyimana

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