Sheep without a Shepherd

By Nestor Ravilas

When the visionary Daniel said that he sees someone like the son of man coming in the clouds, it marks that beginning of the new era in Israel’s eschatological hope. Once considered anomaly, apocalyptic literature that were produced during the last 300 years before the dawn of the Common Era now gaining recognition as source of revolutionary temperament of the people who just surfaced from long and traumatic exile.

Continue reading →

Advertisements

President Duterte’s Stupid Theologians

By Nestor Ravilas
His theological knowledge is impressive. Against the dominating theology, he was audacious enough to express his unpopular opinion. He was able to read the time well. The end of totalizing epistemology is waning down and the dawn of plurality of knowledges has already made its way in the horizon early in 20th century. This is how these theologians appraised the latest fulmination of the president. As if the occasion where the president unleashed his tirade is a theological forum where participants of other opinions were present to counter him. As if a levelled table was set where one can engage the president in theological debate.

Continue reading →

Stupid God for Stupid People

By Nestor Ravilas

Ulrich Beck has a very interesting and fascinating analysis on the interactions of religion and the state. As states started to embrace secularism, either for the purpose of aggressively discrediting religions (Habermas) or to clad rather the state with a mantle of neutrality to distance itself from religions (Taylor), religions on their part welcomed this move of separation of two powerful institutions. Beck argues that religions take the rift as way to free themselves from the cumbersome of political governance and the rigors of responding to scientific inquiries. The state now will take care of those concerns while religions withdraw to the cloisters of spirituality, which simply means, their cultic rituals and practices.

Continue reading →

A Quick Look on KapeTheo’s Quo Warranto Forum

By Nestor Ravilas

Jesus was arrested and instantly subjected to trial. The trial has to be hastened, or the people who just welcomed him as king a day ago will be awakened from their sudden stupor and stash him away from the scene. Pieces of evidence against the accused must be presented immediately to secure conviction. Did he violate the Torah? Did he challenge the Roman emperor? Culpability along these lines would gain him capital punishment. Cutting the story short, Jesus was convicted and eventually punished with death, not because the evidence presented proved him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Rather the intention and desire of those in power outweighed all evidence gathered and propounded.

Continue reading →

The Triumph of Bad Religion

by Nestor Ravilas

“Metho Andres, the police chaplain at Station 6 who prayed with the officers, told Reuters that the Bible justified the killing. Quoting Romans 13, he said Duterte was a God-appointed “agent of wrath” whom police should obey without question. He blamed drug users for their own deaths. “That’s a consequence of them disobeying,” said the pastor. “There is wrath coming for those who don’t obey.”[1]

Continue reading →

Religious Convictions and the Secular State: Neutralization and Toleration toward the Creation of Democratic Society

by Nestor Ravilas

Can religious groups impose their beliefs on people outside of their religious domain? Can we, religious people, influence national policy making that, by doing do, will end up violating and truncating the rights of people not members of our congregations?

Continue reading →

“Created after the Image of God”: A Political Theology on Equal Rights & Freedom for All

by Nestor Ravilas

It is a little mistake to say that human rights was born in 17th century during the beginning of the enlightenment period. Contrary to this, humans from the beginning of civilizations, from hunter-gatherer to agricultural period, have been asserting, utilizing, and imposing their rights and liberties in this planet over and against other beings, living and non-living. What is accomplished, or rather wished to accomplish, by the course of enlightenment movement is to liberally confer freedom and rights to all human beings. Although it might be correct to say that human rights and freedom were exercised prior to modernity, it is, however, confined among the civilized, the educated, the nobles, and the land owners of Europe. This is to say the savage, the ill-mannered, the proletariat, the destitute, the beggars, those belong to Nietzsche’s herd, have neither freedom nor rights. The enlightenment vision is to democratize human rights and freedom by simply acknowledging the basic humanity of everyone, including the aforementioned group of scumbags.

Continue reading →