Tissa Balasuriya, o.m.i.
29th August 1924- 17th January 2013.
One year ago on the 17th January 2013 Fr. Tissa passed away. Even though he was ill for some time and struggling with the weight of 88 years, his death still came as a surprise for his family, co-workers at CSR and friends in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.
On the 29th of august, 2013, the day of his birthday, the government of Sri Lanka issued mail stamps in his honour.
Today one year after his demise his well known book “Mary and Human Liberation” first published in 1990 will be launched again in Colombo at CSR.
This last year two main events took place which would have had special attention of Tissa in case he would still have been alive: the election of the new pope Francis with his very special attention for poor and stateless people in the world, and also the death of Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter in South Africa against racism and apartheid which brought back the memories and the necessity of an ongoing struggle against exclusion.
Both poverty and racism were the central issues in the work, attention and activism of fr. Tissa. Unfortunately he was not able to see what happened and still happens in the world due to these two important events.
Fr. Tissa will not easily be forgotten in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Let us hope that CSR (Centre for Society and Religion) will be able to go on with his legacy and stand firm for justice, peace and ethnic and religious harmony in the beautiful country of Sri Lanka.
Some few texts as well as a more extended biography will still be added to this blog in the future.
Since February we were able to put most of the books written over the years on this web/blog under the heading ” Writings”, with also the much debated work ‘Mary and Human Liberation’ and the most elaborated theological book ‘Right Relationships’. We are happy to make available these books and most of the thinking from over half a century. When we started with “Planetary Theology” in the beginning of the eighties, we could hardly imagine that nowadays, the content of the book and also the concept “Planetary Theology” would be in the heart of a lot of contemporary theology and discussions. Several books – in Latin America- and elsewhere, of companions of Eatwot are working on the same issues and with this same concept, like also was shown in the last coming together of the WFLT (World Forum of Liberation Theology) in Dakar, Senegal in February 2011, where “Planetary Theology” was commonly used.
We have to rethink over and over again our theologies and speak in a relevant way on the issues today at stake on the way for a global different world of justice and good life for all on this earth.
We are also happy that following the launch of the book “Bernadeen Silva on Feminism” on 11th April, we could add the book. Ms Bernadeen Silva was for decades the assistant director of CSR (Center for Society and Religion). She was a true and faithful companion in the work for ethnic cooperation, just relations between women and men, rich and poor, with no compromises, but living fairly and challenging. Her writings on social feminism were since decades ago on the forefront in Sri Lanka.
This year in august 2011 we will also celebrate the work of 40 years of the “Center for Society and Religion”, a celebration the present staff and director are preparing, we will also on this page give more details on it, in the coming months.
In November 2010 we started with this website/blog.
From then on till now many articles and books of T. Balasuriya were placed in this website/blog and put available for anybody to read. Some articles and books were written in a period of 40 years ago till nowadays. The range of publications made available under the topic writings in this blog, spans many issues which to our thinking, did not lose their relevance over the decades.
But the world has also changed much the last 40 years.
Wars have been taking place in Africa, Asian countries, including in Sri Lanka, and especially in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003. The Socialist countries have changed much. Almost the whole world is now influenced by the neo liberal capitalist economic approach. Ethnic conflicts, religious tensions and fundamentalism are growing. At the same time the longing for democracy brings fast changes on the international and local level.
In these turbulent times, poverty is still the main reality of many peoples over the world.
We would invite study and discussion groups to comment on the present position of the world specially of population changes and land distribution, land use, food production and distribution.
Further comments are welcome concerning the new issues that have emerged in reality and in human consciousness such as climate change, sustainability of planet earth, new technologies including communications.
Today 3rd november 2010 we started with the blog and website of and by Tissa Balasuriya.
Themes that will appear are in the area of theology, land and economics, interreligious dialogue, liberation theologies, indigenous issues, theological alternatives for the challenges of this century and people’s movements for required changes, all from the perspective of an Asian theologian.
We intend to slowly build this blog and website with articles and books by the author, a biography, bibliography and links to works and issues already published on the world wide web. From time to time we may also put on this place reactions and challenges as life goes.