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Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice

Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2018

Andrew Staron
Pages 142-155

Centered Toward the Margins
Teaching Pope Francis’s Revolution of Mercy

In his 2017 TED Talk, Pope Francis invited his viewers to a “revolution of tenderness” through “love that comes close and becomes real.” Responding to that call, this article argues that Francis’s assertion that “mercy is doctrine” means that the substance of theology and its teaching requires a conversion of the minds and hearts of both students and teachers to paths wherein one might encounter the God of Mercy. After touching upon particular challenges facing teachers of theology in an undergraduate classroom, the article outlines Francis’s theological framework which both stands upon the tradition of Ignatian spirituality and justifies his using the weight of the papacy to reorient the church’s vision toward mercy and the margins. Finally, this article considers Pope Francis’s pastoral call to mercy theology might nourish undergraduate students’ imaginations and make merciful action intelligible, spiritually meaningful, and attractive.