Theological Reflection

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Social Justice
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Theological Reflection Overview • the process • scripture stories of struggle, liberation, hope • ‘doing’ theological reflection

Archbishop Oscar Romero “The world that the Church must serve is the world of the poor. Persecution of the Church is the result of defending the poor. My life has been threatened many time. I have to confess that, as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I will rise again the Salvadoran people.”

Who will speak … ? Who will speak if you don’t?

Who will speak so their voice will be heard?

Theological Reflection Process • start with the issue – reading the signs of the times • Biblical narrative • components

Theological Reflection Reflect experience



Lens of Christian perspective Respond

Signs of the times… • Trafficking of Women and Children • Exploitation – oppression • Poverty • Patriarchy • Gender inequality • New form of Slavery • Pornography • Demand • Trampling on Human Dignity • Violation of Human Rights

Lens of our Faith… • God’s way… Hebrew / Christian Scriptures • Gospels • Stories/Responses of Jesus • Catholic Social Teaching

Analysis of narrative… Examples…case studies / today’s situation • Stories of violence - slavery • Patriarchy – abuse of power • Jealousy – betrayal • Injustice – structural / institutional • Greed • Conceit

Apply the principles… • Biblical teachings • Women in the scriptures • Stories of Jesus in relation to the poor, downtrodden, outcast, oppressed, women • Catholic Social Teaching • Human rights and dignity • Women and men [reformers/campaigners] throughout history

Catholic Social Teaching… • Link between religious and social dimensions of life – Gaudium et Spes

• Dignity of human person/ promotion of Peace Terris, Evangelium Vitae

• Links between love and justice – Justice in the world • Promotion of common good – Sollicitudo Reisocialis • Stewardship / Economic justice – Laborem exercens • Option for the poor – Octagesimo Adveniens • Global Solidarity – Populorum Progressio • Splendour of Truth / Gospel of Life John Paul II

Pacem in

Why are we concerned? • Justice – cry of the poor • Gender equality – structural sin • Slavery – Oppression • Violation of dignity • Discipleship • Right relationships • Solidarity

Why we should be involved… • God’s paradigm …Genesis…God’s image • God’s response to injustice - compassion / rights the wrongs • Exodus – story of liberation and hope, civil rights, freedom, cry of the poor • Magnificat – song of freedom, Mary, woman describing herself as lowly, humble, servant. Turning society upside down • Beatitudes – paradigm for right relationships • Discipleship – mission and mandate of Jesus • CST – dignity of human being

Theological Reflection • the process • scripture stories of struggle, liberation, hope • ‘doing’ theological reflection

Sarah and Hagar… Genesis 16:1-6; 7-16; 21: 14-19

• Conflict • Power – poverty • Jealousy – barren/fertile • Slavery ‘ foreigner’ outcast / cast out • Oppression • Injustice

Sarah and Hagar… Genesis 16:1-6; 7-16; 21: 14-19

• Conflict between two women – different status • Power – abuse of power set against poverty & powerlessness • Jealousy – barren & old /fertile young & beautiful • Slavery ‘ foreigner’ outcast / cast out • Injustice & Oppression • Response of God “God has heard you…answered your cry…”

Story of Joseph… Genesis 37 • a dream turned into nightmare – betrayed, sold, enslaved, lies, tricked, accused, prosecuted • dysfunctional family • Slave market Story of HOPE and deliverance, compassion and forgiveness

Tamar & Rahab… Genesis 38:1-11; 12-19; 24-30

Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-25

• Abuse within family • Rape and incest • Prostitution – Rahab is the generous but treacherous woman who is recorded as a prostitute (harlot) who helps Joshua’s spies escape from the city – let down in a basket from her quarters • Migrant sex worker brought to the city by famine, war, kidnap, marriage or family breakdown

Pharaoh’s daughter… Exodus 2:5-10

• • • •

Courage Risk Power and status Women saving life – 3 different women in solidarity • Compassion

Esther at court of King Ahaseurus… Esther 2:1-12

• • • •

Patriarchy Woman caught in collusion Harem – search for virgins Women seen as ‘objects’ of beauty and pleasure for men

Abigail… 1 Book of Samuel 25:32-35

• • • • •

Confrontation: War and Violence Acts as mediator – courage to face David ‘joy of my father’ Personal intervention Woman of justice and peace “Blessed are the peacemakers”

Woman at the well… John 4:5-42

• Prostitution • Exploitation • Shame • Poverty Response of Jesus / response of woman • Empowerment • Fullness of life

Woman who anoints Jesus… Mark 14:3 – 9

• Courage • Crossing boundaries • Faithful discipleship • Celebration • Anointing • Oppression and resistance Response of Jesus “her story retold in remembrance of her.”

Woman with haemorrhage… Mark 5:25 - 34 • Blood – taboo / unclean • Status of women • Courage • Faith in the goodness of this ‘healer’ • Status of the woman Response of Jesus “your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free of your complaint.”

Canaanite woman… Matthew 15:21-28 Syrophenician woman… Mark 7:25 - 30

• Prejudice sociological / historical • Religious bias • Nationalism • Exclusion • Racism Response of Jesus: astonished “woman you have great faith!”

Canaanite woman… Matthew 15:21-28 Syrophenician woman… Mark 7:25 - 30

Two worlds? Ethnicity – religion – nationality – gender – status • ‘Mission’ • very personal, to an individual – daughter • to a nation – systemic change

Canaanite woman… Matthew 15:21-28 Syrophenician woman… Mark 7:25 - 30

• “ My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” • “It is not right to take the children’s food and throw it to little dogs.” • “Even little dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’ table.”

Canaanite woman… Matthew 15:21-28 Syrophenician woman… Mark 7:25 - 30

• “Lord, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a demon…” But he said not a word to her… • “Woman, your faith is great. Let your desire be granted.”

Canaanite woman… Matthew 15:21-28 Syrophenician woman… Mark 7:25 - 30

• Story of …CHANGE • Story of … HOPE • Story of …SHAME

Poets and Artists … “And this our life exempt from public haunt Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones and good in every thing.” Shakespeare - ‘As you Like It’ Act 2 scene 1 Duke Senior in the Forest of Arden.

Contemporary situations… • Sharon Watkins - ENRON fraud, based on arrogance and greed • Valerie Flame story – Joe Wilson, Collusion of governments, lies, WAR • PAKISTAN - Women rights bill. Pres Musharraf – ‘spread of democracy?’ • ‘Torture’ Bill through congress in the name of ‘security’

Revelation by Julia Esquivel

“hearing the cry of the trafficked…”

God’s love… Goes beyond fairness to a generosity which exceeds human expectations Generous inclusive treatment God’s justice sees the world from the perspective of the excluded Transforms people and systems so that all are included…

Hope… Sarahs listen and embrace the Hagars

“When sleeping women wake, Mountains will move." Chinese proverb

“ Never doubt that a small handful of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that every has.” Margaret Mead

Discipleship… Luke 4: 17-21

Mission of Jesus… “ the spirit of the Lord is upon me, for God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor… has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of slight to the blind… to let the oppressed go free to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Who will speak…? Who will speak if we don’t? Who will speak so our voice will be heard?

What is our response? What do we do?

Who will speak…? What is our response? What do we do?

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