Kings, Tyrants and Democratic Imagination in the Hebrew Bible

Nestor Ravilas

I am writing this for publication. I am afraid however that by the time this was published, it was a bit behind of its desired goal, to inform Filipino believers of sound political theology. May of 2021 will be the earliest date it will be available to public, if I insist on publication. Thus, I was moved by the strong desire to compose a chewable version of this immense project and thereby make it accessible to those I assumed need to read this. As way of reminder before I proceed, this is about a case of reform in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Jesus movement hopefully have their own time in the future research. Let me start then.

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Racism: A Legacy of Monotheism?

Nestor Ravilas

Racism is evil, and to root its origin to monotheism is quite distressing!

Monotheistic Christianity, along with other monotheistic religions, has been blamed for racism together with other forms of discriminations this world can name. The practice of classifying people on different categories might have been with us even before monotheism was introduced in Israel, or say, in Egypt by Akhenaten in 1400 BCE, few years ahead of Sinai story. Accusation has been lodged, however, that the dawn of belief in “one and only god” inadvertently intensifies not only racism but all forms of discrimination. Regina Schwartz herself on her book, The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism, stresses this point which seemingly validates monotheism as the root of evil that has disintegrated us into warring factions.

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Collapse of Philippine Democracy Part 2: Docile Subjects

Nestor Ravilas

Ruby Paredes on her book “Colonial Democracy” says that the problem with our democracy is that our democratic institutions were established under colonial power. She is saying, in effect, the problem is either what was bequeathed to us by our American overlord is a distorted form of democracy, or we have not fully understood something that was actually imposed to us. Or both defects might have been embedded within Philippine democracy without us recognizing it. In that case, what we have learned and has immensely left an impact to our culture and psyche is the docility and subservience to colonial master than the emancipating “people is the sovereign” principle of democracy.

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Colonialism and Consumerism

Fred Laceda

The lectionary text for this Sunday has an interesting reception in Christian history. We know of Matthew 28:16–20 as the missionary text par excellence. This association with missions was a late development, however. Modern missions – or the sending of Christian missionaries in foreign lands – is a product of the Reformation period. It was also at this time that Western powers began their colonial adventurism. Hence colonialism and Christian mission gestated from the same imperialistic womb. It is in this entanglement that we should situate the Western missionary enterprise. And the “Great Commission” text stands as its greatest theological legitimation.

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Differing Opinions: Reflection on John 10:1-10

Nestor Ravilas

On this side we have Jesus, the Good Shepherd, whose distinctive voice consoles and entices us, who leads us where flourishing of life is possible, and protect us from threats against our well-being. That is our Jesus, our refuge.

On the other side are the scoundrels: strangers, thieves and bandits, whose business in life is to thwart the good intention of the good shepherd. These are the enemies which we have to push and keep outside.

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