The IFRS Research Program shall support and give priority to researches that deal with topics in scriptures, theology, spirituality, and women and gender studies and with emphasis on inculturation, prophetic dialogue, and creative and transformative ministries. It advances research projects that provide insights into justice, peace, and integrity of creation and in the empowerment of the poor and marginalized while taking the Asian and the Third World situation as its context.
Historical Mindedness and Cultural Intelligence
Enriched by a diversity of cultures in Asia–home of ancient and great religious traditions of the world–historical mindedness and cultural intelligence as research agenda need to be enhanced in every research engagement of the institute in order to be an authentic and effective participant in the transformation of the Church and society.
Historical mindedness is a critical awareness of how meaning develops in a particular context and how change takes place over time. It concerns the crucial understanding of the ways in which social, cultural, and religious forces influence people and events, and takes the functioning order of society as dependent on human collaboration since human meaning develops in human beings relating with one another and with the rest of creation as it adapts to changing circumstances and responds to new ideas. Historical mindedness as constitutive of research considers each instance in its singularity to discern a certain unity in an otherwise puzzling multiplicity and concerns itself with a scientific understanding of rhythms that present the possibility of development.
Cultural intelligence is related to historical mindedness. A critical understanding of what has been going forward cultivates the capability to relate and function effectively across cultures. The radical understanding in historical mindedness enlarges one’s horizon to include an understanding of cultures. This promotes dialogue and harmony within and among cultures and religions.