State of Exceptions and the Sovereign Decision: The King-Pope of the House of Davao

Nestor Ravilas

All discussions on political theology from Carl Schmitt to Slavoj Zizek inevitably center on the person of the sovereign, says Graham Hamill. It comes with no surprise, therefore, why modern rulers remain enchanted with the glorious days of the Caesaropapists, those sovereign kings whose absolute rule made them subject to no one for they claimed to have both political and divine authority. The closest we remember are the English monarchs from Henry VIII, to James I, to Charles I, and James II, all asserted the divine right to rule. This history of political theology, where absolute power secured by divine ordination persists in our culture like the fruit in the middle of the garden where all are craving to have a taste of it.

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Are you Ready for Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Bong Go?: the Power that Decides and Creates our Politicians

Nestor Ravilas

The swarming of clowns and charlatans in politics is quite alarming. More alarming is the fact that they are winning, and many of them have already turned the government into circus more than a decade ago. Luckily, such phenomenon is not unique in this country. Meaning, ours is not the only house that is being pulled down gradually by termites.

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Manny Paquiao and His Violent God

by Nestor Ravilas

I shuddered at the very thought of elevating Manny Paquiao to power when he first ran to public office not so many years ago. I know for sure it will be a big mistake. It is putting a violent man, and his violent god, to power. I campaigned against his bid for senatorial seat not only to save Evangelical community from shame, but to spare Filipinos from the predilection to violence of this man.

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Weaponizing Theology

by Fred Laceda

Religion and politics’ connection is interesting, at times odd, and often times explosive. One contemporary depiction of this relationship is between Stannis and Melisandre in The Game of Thrones. The former’s political ambition is bolstered by the latter’s religious idea that Stannis was the chosen one. Politics and religion, in other words, has an intimate relationship. The offspring of such intimacy is hoped to be a blessing, but Melisandre and Stannis’ offspring offers a cautionary tale: Melisandre bore a shadowy, perhaps cursed, child.

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Shape: A Proposal in Developing and Implementing Church Orders

By John Eric Tumbado

I would like to take for myself a piece of advice from the comedian George Burns on pursuing longevity—wait, who doesn’t want to live long anyway? So might as well take this advice too. He said:

“If you ask me what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress,and tension.”

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Reviving the Faith: Religious Symbols and Pope Francis

10537800_10152525753111143_8873113901187808554_nby: Nestor Ravilas
Religion is all about symbols. It is the modest attempt to bridge the colossal gap that separates the heaven from the earth; making gods immanent and thus reduced them as our own, walking among us. As in theoretical knowledge, artistic representations of the divine in the same manner are also contextual. Their emergence belongs too to particular occasions that inspired their creation to facilitate this contact between the divine and the profane. It is about meaning; what the symbol diffuses so as to goad its believers to keep the struggle alive, whatever it might be. The symbol or a memorial however is a fixation of the occasion, fossilizing the event into particular epoch in the past, making it as property of history. Meaning however is always alive and fresh within the memory of those who went through the event, and it is always belong to the present. Memorials turn to become public properties, but the memories die with its owner, so as their meaning. What we have in the end were symbols deprived of their significance.

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