The logo of Arrupe Jesuit Institute (AJI) is a composite of colours, inscriptions and an image. Taken together and individually, these bright colours, profound inscriptions, and an image clearly identifiable as the Servant of God, Father Pedro Arrupe, are all laden with meaning; meaning that employs these symbols of colour, inscription, and image to disclose aspects of the identity of AJI, expressing this institute’s overall vision, mission, aspirations, and context.
The logo’s colours are the Pan-African colours of red, gold, green, and black (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-African_colours ). Depicted in these Pan-African colours, AJI boldly asserts its continental aspirations, signalling a resolve to provide service with a continental sweep. Located in Accra, in the very same place as the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) is headquartered, AJI is strategically positioned to realize its Pan-African vision; to be a service of the Society of Jesus at the service of the continental body of bishops will be nothing short of fulfilling this laudable ambition.
Red, gold, green and black also reflect Ghana’s national colours. Thus, our logo, composed of these colours situate our institute and establish its context; thinking continentally, our actions begin nationally. Bathed in these colours, AJI affirms its primary context of service as Ghana.
Red as passion; passion understood here as both zeal/enthusiasm but also as suffering/pain. Both aspects describe the man in whose honour our institute is named: Father Pedro Arrupe. A man aflame with love for the Society of Jesus, the Church, humanity and God, Arrupe also suffered greatly, even at the hands of the institutional church. IHS, inscribed within the red panel, abbreviates the name of Jesus (the first three letters of his name in Greek ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), whose name the Society bears. The inscription – IHS – thus honours not only the name of Jesus but also firmly establishes the Jesuit identity of AJI.
Gold as glory; here depicting victory, triumph, kingship, and wealth. Gold communicates the aspirations – spiritual and temporal – of AJI: striving for the attainment of human dignity, realizing the glory of God which is the human person who is fully alive; experiencing fullness of life, wellbeing in all aspects of life: spiritually, materially, politically, economically, etc. Thus, gold expresses the royalty of all believers: “a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9). Inscribed within the gold panel is the popular Akan Adinkra symbol known as Gye Nyame – God is matchless (www.adinkra.org ). Gye Nyame symbolizes faith, the first of AJI’s key pillars.
Green as vegetation; the colour of Mother Earth and the colour representing hope. Unmistakably, green discloses one of the paramount issues of concern of AJI as the environment, as care for our common home – in the words of Pope Francis. Green communicates AJI’s ecological commitment; doing all this in a manner saturated with hope. Mpatapo – the Adinkra symbol inscribed in the green panel – literally means: “the knot of settlement”. It symbolizes the end of strife, heralding reconciliation, amity, harmony, good human relations. In this regard, Mpatapo reflects the justice sought as the goal of all genuine human relations and societies. Significantly, justice is the second major bedrock of AJI’s being.
Father Pedro Arrupe’s face, in black surround; Arrupe’s image enhanced by blackness tells something about the man after whom our institute is named. First, it recalls Arrupe’s role as Jesuit Superior General, often humorously identified as the black pope; hence, the blackness. More significantly, enveloping Arrupe in black, a colour typically associated with Africa, pays recognition to his deep interest, devotion, investment in, and love for the Church and Society in Africa. A champion of the inculturation in which African theology has made giant strides, Arrupe initiated the process for founding Hekima College, as a response to the needs of the Society of Jesus in Africa to provide robust theological formation for its men. Arrupe’s legacy in Africa is attested to by the institutions that bear his name. This is an honour we now share.
All: colours, inscriptions, image – indeed, the entire logo – is unified by a cross. The significance of this, should this require explanation, is twofold, aptly captured by two texts: “For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the diving wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end” (Ephesians 2:14-16). “Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the name of Jesus” (Society of Jesus Formula of the Institute). The cross is the decisive representation of AJI as Christian and Jesuit.