Seton Hall University

Two Core Faculty Members Collaborate on Article  

John Radwan

Dr. Jon Radwan, Department of Communication, COAR

Inside the Core this week, we are excited to share that two of the faculty teaching in the Core have collaborated on a publication. Dr. Jon Radwan, Associate Professor from the Communication Department in COAR, and Dr. Roger Alfani, adjunct faculty member in the University Core and the School of Diplomacy, have published together an article entitled "Communicating Transcendent Love: Interpersonal Encounter and Church–State Transitions in Fratelli Tutti" in a special edition on "Catholic Church–State Relations in Global Transition" of the journal Religions, the academic editor of which is yet another Seton Hall colleague, Dr. Jo Renee Formicola of the Political Science Department. Dr. Radwan shared that he and Dr. Alfani got the idea of working together on the article when their paths crossed when Dr. Alfani was helping to cover Dr. Radwan’s classes during the early days of the pandemic (when some faculty, who could not risk being in person, were allowed to teach remotely with another faculty member present with their students in the classroom). The situation led to some natural collaboration between the two colleagues leading to the realization that they shared many common research interests. The result is the recently published article linking Pope Francis’ social teaching with global interaction among nations.

According to the article’s abstract, "This essay analyzes Pope Francis’ social teaching on relationality within his 2020 encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti (brothers all). The relationship between the Church and modern nation-states is an important macro-level social dynamic, and Francis explains it by placing Church–State relations into a broader spiritual context of human communication and interaction. He articulates norms of fraternal contact growing from the bottom-up, that is, from interpersonal encounters through groups and movements on to countries and the United Nations." Click here for the full abstract and a link to the article. 

Image of Roger Alfani

Dr. Roger Alfani, adjunct faculty member in the University Core and School of Diplomacy

Both Dr. Radwan and Dr. Alfani have engaged in scholarship that links religion and societal issues. For example, Dr. Radwan has published "Meaningful Work and Human Flourishing: Communication Lessons from the Judeo-Christian Tradition," which was included in the Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Wellbeing, (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2020). This chapter won the Outstanding Book Chapter Award – National Communication Association, Spiritual Communication Division, 2020. He also co-authored, with Dr. Mary Balkun of the English Department, "Building Community in Times of Crisis," which was published in Faculty Focus

Dr. Alfani has many articles published in the area of religion and peace-building, as that connection is a particular focus for his scholarship. His presentation of his book, Religious Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Peter Lang, 2019) was our first Scholars’ Forum in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and this book led to Dr. Alfani being asked to work on a Hollywood-based documentary about the DRC, an ongoing project. His many articles and book chapters, in both French and English, cover topics such as "The Community of Sant’ Egidio in the Central African Republic" in Theoforum, and "Construction de la paix par les Églises: Une appropriation locale des processus de paix?" in Revue Scriptura.

Once the article came together it found a fitting home in Dr. Formicola’s special volume on "Catholic Church-State Relations in Global Transitions" in the journal Religions. When I contacted Dr. Formicola about the project, she mentioned yet another Seton Hall faculty member, Dr. King Mott, who has an article in the volume "Queer Politics: Re-Shaping the Politics of Church and State." Dr. Formicola is the person who suggested the general topic, "Catholic Church-State Relations in Global Transition," for this special volume of the journal Religions. Nothing could be more in the spirit of community and collaboration linking our Catholic Mission with peace-making in the current troubled world situation than this joint project involving Seton Hall scholars from three different colleges and departments. Since two of these faculty teach regularly in the Core, Dr. Radwan and Dr. Alfani, we are so happy to celebrate their accomplishment in Inside the Core this week.

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Nancy Enright
  • (551) 358-7667