Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Hung Trung Pham, SJ


Understanding the meaning of conversion as a new way of reorientation of oneself towards God and others can empower the Jesuit novice toward the fulfillment of his vocation. For Christians and especially for Jesuit novices, understanding conversion is celebrating and actualizing conversion to God in daily life and always choosing Jesus Christ as the principle and foundation of personal transformation.

Understanding conversion as authentic self-transformation can support interreligious dialogue between Christians and other religious traditions in Vietnam. Authentic conversion leads a person to realize the forgiving and compassionate presence of transcendent Reality. Respectful interreligious dialogue also challenges one’s own conversion. As children of one common Mother, religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Caodaism, Ancestral worship, and Christianity all of which are commonly found in Vietnam, can live together and share their responsibility in caring for the common home. Even as these traditions have different understandings of conversion, they share the same end of service to the common good and a better life. Their similar commitments to the common good motivate everyone to seek a transformation of society. This understanding of conversion strengthens each person according to his or her tradition to embrace a multilateral perspective of authentic conversion. Such an understanding of conversion also opens to the various levels of reconciliation with transcendent Reality, with oneself as intrapersonal transformation, with people of other cultures as social transformation, and with nature as ecological reconciliation.

This study starts with the crises and opportunities in religious life in the context of Vietnam. This leads one to explore conversion in some spiritual movements of Christianity. In light of these various views of conversion, the novices are led into the dynamics of conversion of Ignatian spirituality. Finally, it moves towards spiritual conversion for Jesuit novices in Vietnam.

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