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|Title: ||Believing unto discipleship: Jesus of Nazareth a proposed workbook on doing Christology for first year college students of Saint Louis University|
|Authors: ||Dumpayan, Reynaldo O.|
|Issue Date: ||Jun-2001 |
|Abstract: ||The present work is a proposed workbook for first year college students. It attempts to introduce students into a way of imaging Jesus that can be faithful to history, respectful of tradition, and relevant to the Filipino situation today. It tries to attain this goal by using the See — Discern — Act method of reflection outlined in the introduction of this work.
The thesis comes in four chapters. The first chapter asks whether our image or picture of Jesus matters. It goes on to present a survey of the more dominant sketches of Jesus both in the popular imagination and in biblical research. On the one hand, the popular view puts so much emphasis on the divinity of Jesus. The Jesus who lived and loved as a human person got lost so that we cannot identify with him and follow him. On the other hand, much of biblical research during the greater part of the 19th and 20th centuries sought to uncover truths about Jesus the man, the historical person. The search ended with varied and, often conflicting images. A problem arises: Who is the real Jesus? How can we understand Jesus properly within the Filipino context?
Chapter One proposes an answer: We have to follow the way, the itinerarium mentis, of the disciples. We have to walk with the disciples in their journey with Jesus. This is necessary if we are to see something of the Jesus of history. Second, we have to take account of how later followers interpreted the disciples’ initial experience- interpretation within a changed context. Third and finally, we have to permit a dialogue between the Judaeo-Christian Tradition (JCT) and the present Filipino situation so that a meaningful message will be born. The workbook illustrates these stages at work.
Chapter Two attempts to uncover initially something about Jesus as he was experienced by the disciples. It describes Jesus as a spirit-person — he was one who was in close communion with the sacred, the divine, God. Jesus’ being a spirit-person was manifested in his ministry in four ways: He was a healer and an exorcist; a teacher of transformative wisdom; an initiator of a renewal movement; and a prophet. By using these four models of interpretation, we clarify important things about Jesus as he lived and ministered to people.
Who Jesus was and what he stood for can be seen in what he did, his way of life. It is from such manner of living that the vigor and authority of his teachings flowed. Chapter Three exposes the spirit of his teachings and focuses on the central message of the kingdom. Like Jesus himself the message of the kingdom has been misunderstood too often. Popularly, the kingdom is seen as an out-of-this-world reality that has little to do with the concreteness of the human condition. It is primarily a reward for a life well lived. It is reserved for a chosen few. The chapter proposes a more down to earth and relevant interpretation: For Jesus, the kingdom is a wealth of blessings here in this life and in the life to come, with emphasis on the now. It is more “earthly” than “heavenly”, more a gift than a task, more inclusive than exclusive.
Chapter Four suggests another way of looking at Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus, as a normal human person, neither wanted death nor sought it purposely because it was God’s will. Rather, Jesus’ death was the result of a life unselfishly lived working for justice in a society that did not care for the little ones.
There had been two extreme positions regarding the interpretation of Jesus’ resurrection. One understands the resurrection and apparition stones literally. Everything happened as we find it in New Testament. The other extreme position argues that nothing happened to Jesus. It was the disciples’ faith that was revived and not Jesus. A middle way may be a more meaningful approach. The resurrection stories describe, first of all, what happened to the disciples - a process of conversion. At the same time, however, the New Testament also affirms that something happened to Jesus. It proclaims that Jesus now participates in the fullness of God’s life. This, too, is an aspect of the resurrection event that should not be forgotten
If Jesus died and resurrected, what is that to us? We believe that Jesus communicates the fullness of life to us through his abiding presence in our lives. The fullness of life, though a gift, is also a task. We have to exert effort to become a transformed people. It is only when we do this that Jesus resurrects once more in our communities.
In all the four chapters, the challenge is always how to make a connection between the disciples’ experience of Jesus and our present experience so that a liberating message for our times may be born. There must be a continuing dialogue between the realities of today’s society and the Judaeo-Christian tradition. This is a requirement for a more meaningful re-appropriation of our Christian heritage.|
|Description: ||Thesis (M.A. : Religious Studies). -- Saint Louis University, Baguio City, 2001.|
|Appears in Collections:||School of Humanities|
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