Spirituality and Social Transformation II

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  • 1. Spirituality and Social Transformation II Cebu, 2009
  • 2. All of this requires reflection as well as contemplation
    • We often fail to recognize how we might be called to work for positive change, greater justice in a particular situation or structure that is causing us or another pain.
    • Unless we ask the systemic questions.
  • 3. Peter Henriot’s Pastoral Cycle: Three Dimensions of Human Experience
    • Individual (Intrapersonal)
    • Interpersonal
    • Public (societal)
    • Environmental/ Ecological (CSJ)
  • 4. Key Insight
    • The problem of simultaneity
    • We tend to be able to notice only two of these aspects of our experience at once
  • 5. Most People do not have a habit of reflecting environmentally or socially
    • They think their pain or joy is personal or interpersonal
      • If I am depressed, it’s my fault not the fact I live in a building without windows or fresh air.
      • If I feel supported and loved, it’s because God is blessing me and not particularly related to a nourishing faith-sharing group, a happy marriage, and good friends.
      • If I am constantly overlooked for promotion or not rewarded by salary increases, I think there is something wrong with me rather than the possibility this situation is gender based or because I belong to a minority group
  • 6.  
  • 7. Societal Structures
    • Economic structures determine the organization of resources (corporations, banks, taxes, trade patterns, unions)
    • Political structures determine the organization of power (parliaments, police, political parties, local councils, legal guarantees, etc.
    • Social structures determine the organization of relationships (families, kinship groups, racial patterns, tribes, villages, recreation clubs, schools)
    • Gender structures determine the organization of male-female patterns (work status and division of labor, decision-making participation, sexual expectations and limitations
  • 8.
    • 5. Ecological structures that determine the organization of natural environments (sustainable agriculture, weather patterns, population distribution, demographic patterns, pollution, degradation)
    • 6. Cultural Structures that determine the organization of meaning (traditions, language, art, drama, song, initiation rites, communications media)
    • Religious structures that determine the organization of transcendence (churches, books of revelation, sacraments and rituals, moral codes, other religious practices)
    • (In any given situation, these structures are interrelated and connected. Part of social analysis is to determine which are the most influential)
  • 9. Citizen Mystic
    • Both activist and contemplative
    • Concerned for “us,” for one’s “neighbor,” for the “stranger”
    • Loyal to the Gospel and to the Church as sacrament
    • A person of moral principle
    • A person of moderation and virtue, especially concerned with non-violence
    • Recognizes total mystery of God as well as God is love, and accompanying us on our journey
    • God is present in all things, including nature
    • God is in the present and calling us into the future
    • Is willing to persist through suffering and desolation through the cross
  • 10. Spiritual Resources
    • A “theology of Struggle” in the light of 475 years of colonization (Edicio de la Torre)
    • Filipino feminist theology
      • A struggle for survival and a faith journey
      • Making this journey with Jesus (songs of resistance and dances of life and healing amid struggle)
      • Through the lens of gender prostitution is connected to imperialism
      • Lift up domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual abuse of girls and women in homes, workplaces, streets, mass media and church by distinguishing gender from class, race, and ethnicity
      • Identify stories of resistance from colonial times
  • 11. Elizabeth Sorios Padillo-Olesen
    • The face of Jesus on the cross helps us to bear
    • Our walk on the valley of bones on a Holy Friday
    • The blood and sweat of Jesus help us to clean
    • Our own wounds and bear the pain inflicted on us
  • 12. Feminist Christology
    • Two themes from within the Filipino’s people historical struggle for freedom
    • The pasyon (dramatization of the passion of Jesus) and the lakbayan People’s march rallies)
    • Jesus as the fully liberated human being and liberator
  • 13.
    • Pasyon
      • Two moments of Jesus’ passion
      • Suffering, humiliation, and powerlessness at the hands of religious leaders (a passive moment of Jesus’ suffering)
      • Accompanying women in their struggle for freedom and empowerment (an active moment of Jesus’ suffering
  • 14.
    • Incarnation itself may be a better model
      • The incarnation is Jesus’ initial act of accompaniment and the passion a continuance of this act
      • Jesus’ death is the outcome of his ministry and his solidarity wit those who suffer marginalization and oppression in society.
  • 15. Pasyon Tradition
    • Both a Colonizer’s Tool to Tame the Soul
      • Part of the colonizer’s religion
      • Fostered subservience in the colonized
      • Cultivated a Catholic religiosity, among the elites, that emphasized the suffering Christ more than the Resurrected Christ
      • (You must endure suffering so that you will become a saint)
    • And a Resource Resistance
  • 16.
    • Resource for Resistance
      • Anti-colonial resistance draws on the Pasyon.
      • The Pasyon embodies the life and passion of the oppressed Filipino people.
      • Many women whose bodies and spirits are wounded find consolation in the thought that Jesus understands their sufferings
      • They are not alone with their burden and affliction.
  • 17. In the struggle to be whole again
    • Women connect all concerns about justice, peace, people, and the earth to one basic issue: the fullness of life.
    • When women identify their triple burden of economic deprivation, gender exploitation, and social victimization, their experiences of suffering can ignite the fuel of women’s struggle for liberation.
  • 18. The Pasyon
    • Becomes a journey from darkness to light
    • More emphasis is placed (needs to be placed) on the passage from darkness to light, death to life.
  • 19. Lakbayan– journey of the people
    • A model of accompaniment
    • Jesus walked the dusty roads among the down trodden poor, attended to the sick, and healed the despised lepers.
    • Today’s believer (women and men) accompany the people on their journey for justice.
    • People endure suffering even as they struggle, because they have hope in the assurance Jesus gave when he said, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28.20b)
    • Entertwines with Pasyon and moves to resurrection faith
  • 20. Jesus: The fully liberated and liberating human being
    • The coming of the Spirit uncovers the liberated Christ in the fully liberated Person
    • The experience of resurrection is the experience of the fully liberated Christ
    • This kind of resurrection experience of liberation in the disciple enables people to continue to courageously struggle with the poor and the oppressed in the midst of insecurity.
    • This kind of faith and praxis is dangerous-- physically, psychologically
    • Mananzan
  • 21. Cont.
    • Creation of human beings and giving them free will was God’s great act of bahala na, of love that takes risks
    • So, too was the risk Jesus took in becoming human.
    • This risk-taking bahala na with empathy becomes a Christian bahala na.
      • Eg. parable of the vineyard and the servant
      • Parable of the lost sheep
  • 22. Incarnation: Expression of God’s Love that Takes Risks
    • Teresa Dagdag draws on Filipino values:
      • Bahala na (come what may) or (so what?)
        • Can be either risk taking “so-what? I will do it anyway” or resignation
      • Malasakit (empathy, compassion)
        • Concern for another without expecting a reward or payback.
  • 23. Dagdag
    • “ The message of Jesus, the Bahal NA servant of Yahweh for the Filipinos of the angry 70’s is ‘have malasakit for your brothers and sisters and be risk takers as yoru Father in heaven is a risk taker”
  • 24. Social Psychologists
    • Maria Elizabeth Macapagal and Jasmin Nario-Galace from the Ateneo University also identified antidotes to fear in People Power II:
      • Bhala na
      • Lakas ng loob (inner strength)
      • And Christian Faith
  • 25.
    • Cognitive beliefs also contributed
      • They believed the charges against Pres. Estrada
      • The judicial and political systems were not longer effective
      • Active nonviolence could make him step down
  • 26. Nonviolence Tactics used
    • Communicating with a wider audience
    • Representing their group symbolically
    • pressuring the opponent,
    • dramatizing and singing,
    • sponsoring public assemblies
    • and withdrawing support form the politically powerful
  • 27. “A Filipino spirituality
    • springs from the involvement in liberation struggles—whether against economic exploitation, political repression, gender oppression, ethnic discrimination, or ecological destruction—
    • is …a movement of the Holy Spirit, not only in the people’s lives but in the whole creation.
    • It is a spirituality rooted in our Christian faith tradition and at the same time, aware of our animist roots that consider sacred our soil, forests, rivers.
    • It is concerned with concrete bodily needs and yet also is caught up in the spiritual world that has produced a richness of popular symbols and rituals.
    • In our search for a genuinely liberating spirituality, we find a need for both analytical and intuitive minds regarding reality, for both structure and cultural analysis to situate the role of popular beliefs in people’s struggles, for both concrete action for justice and silent contemplation.” Philippine Delegation to Asian Theological Conf. III