A New Zealand Marist priest has received a lifetime achievement award in “practical theology”.
On May 4, Fr Gerald Arbuckle, SM, received the award in Sydney, the first such award made in Australia.
The award, presented by the Broken Bay Institute, acknowledged Fr Arbuckle’s application of the Gospel to contemporary local and global cultures.
According to the Society of Mary New Zealand website, the award was given because of the international recognition of Fr Arbuckle, his extensive contribution to his field and his authoring of more than 20 books on the subject.
The award presentation coincided with the launch of Fr Arbuckle’s latest book “International Faith Communities in Catholic Education: Challenge and
Fr Arbuckle was delighted to receive the award.
At the presentation, he explained the role of cultural anthropologists as helping to ground the Gospel and theologians in the complex cultural realities that are deeply, if not unconsciously, influencing our lives on a daily basis.
By way of example, Fr Arbuckle said it is only possible to respond to current issues such as fake news and fundamentalism in all its forms if the Church appropriately grasps the cultural causes of these movements.
Quick-fix simplistic solutions are not the answer, he warned.
“So rapid is change in the world, and even in the Church, that people fear their cultural and personal identities are under threat. They look for quick-fix simplistic solutions”, he said.