Theological Reflection

					Theological Reflection
 • the process
 • scripture stories of struggle, liberation,
 • „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
 • start with the issue – reading the signs of
   the times
 • Biblical narrative
 • components
         Theological Reflection

Action                            Analyse

   Lens of Christian perspective

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

• Dignity of human person/ promotion of Peace -           Pacem in
 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
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
 • 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,
 • „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 &
• 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
         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
           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
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 –
  • „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
   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…
 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
                 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
    What is our response?
      What do we do?
Who will speak…?

What is our response?
  What do we do?

Shared By: