Archives

  • Vol. 36 No. 1 (2020)

    Image is language. Language is image. Today identities are characterised by the universe of images and words. Plurality turns into madness of things in reality that often cannot be perceived sanely anymore. How would Aristotle respond to all this? Back to particularity? Or, back to the Anima? It is tongue-in-cheek that everyone seems to satisfy his or her own narcissism by way of expressing thoughts, while the Anima imagined by Aristotle might refer to a humanity consisting of identities rather than to myriad of created personalities.

    Our efforts in expressing ideas sometimes complicate life matters like never before. However, it is always our own choice to read or not to read. This edition of Melintas leaves the choice to the reader’s imagination. We do not have to read, as long as some insights have been keeping us alive. The first article offers a reconstruction of the social and political dimensions that were present within Ferdinand de Saussure’s theorisation. The article explores the historical development of the concept of discourse to unearth the political potential of language. The second article explores the thoughts of Chuang Tzu (ca. 369-286 BC), who elaborates cognitive and intuitive sides of human mind and offers a philosophy in order to bring forward an awareness of reality as itself. The article shows the conjunctions of cognitive and intuitive capabilities of human mind, as well as its rational and mystical sides. The third article offers a way to reconstruct a Ricoeurian narrative identity as the form and a Volfian sacred memory as the content, in order to transform the Chinesse narrative identity in Indonesia from a victim or a wounded self into a survivor or a healing self. The fourth article invites the readers to be aware of the negative inclinations around the issues of image and ocularcentrism in the contemporary visual culture, and offers some philosophical interpretations towards the conception of a ‘moving’ image. The fifth article explores Axel Honneth’s normative reconstruction of social liberty as discussed in his book, Freedom’s Right, and offers the idea of justice as institutionalised freedom that may enlarge the individuals’ horizon of solidarity as future citizens. These articles dwell into the particularities of images and language that shape our identity within the reality.

    In sensing the reality we live in, we might want to reimagine ourselves as a singular Aristotelian Anima of humanity that is always moving with and interconnected to the universe. We do not want to let our rational thoughts complicate the simplicity of our identity and the givenness of Being.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 35 No. 3 (2019)

    Democracy and religion seem to find it hard to make friends. But who knows? Sometimes politics and theology are about perspective. When reflected on from a particular perspective, public policies and doctrines might shake each other’s hand. We know that a term as strong as ‘belief’ can be catastrophic in discussion, but yet is often taken for granted without further realisation. It might depend on what really matters in our life: to win a debate or to live together happily. It is not an oversimplification, since, again, it is a matter of perspective.

    Writings are perspectives that require our engagement with particular texts. We do not have to agree to the ideas, but we can see from different viewpoints. This edition of Melintas brings forward some themes in theology, politics, interreligious dialogue, and human dignity. The first article shows the turn to liturgy in contemporary Christian political theology. The political nature of the Church and its political role wells up from its identity as the sign and instrument of the Kingdom of God, and as such, in its political engagement, the Church is not considered merely as a social or voluntary organisation. The second article does a comparison of thoughts and movements of two Islamic figures who are significant in ‘Muhammadiyah’, namely, Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (1877-1960) in Turkey and K. H. Ahmad Dahlan (1686-1923) in Indonesia. It shows how hatred was transformed into nonviolent practices by these figures. The third article sees democracy education, fraternity, and unity in Indonesia in the light of the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” (2019), signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb. The fourth article explores hospitality according to Amos Yong as the basic character needed in developing interreligious dialogues. The author discerns the local wisdom phrased as Hidup Orang Basudara as a characteristic of hospitality that can be used to develop interreligious dialogue in Molucca, Indonesia. The fifth article reflects on Christian incarnation as an event of manifestation of God’s love in defending, liberating, and elevating human dignity. This event of incarnation brings the image of the Church as God’s people who are liberated while still in pilgrimage on earth. The authors of these articles invite us to see from different perspectives in order to able to live together as human beings and to share our views.

    Others’ views are enriching and liberating. By sharing our different views, we are not so much contrasting ideas and debating beliefs as building a liveable place to meet each other as guests. Everyone is a guest in this world of shared perspectives.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 35 No. 2 (2019)

                 Our senses are amazing. Yet, there have been tendencies to underrate them. We know that it is from our senses that we build the concept of sensitivity. The latter, as a concept, however, has shifted from the realness of day-to-day experiences of the self to the domain of ideas. Can our ways of doing philosophy or doing theology be sensible – that these are real to our senses? A thorny question, indeed. It needs no answer, except our journey towards different destinations.

                Being sensible can bring difference in our writings. We put our full attention on the subject matter we are exploring, whilst letting our senses perceive movements and changes. In this edition of Melintas we will find authors who reflect on topics that are closely related to human self, sensitivity, and experience. The first author presents the thoughts of Michel Foucault, who brilliantly analyses the historical events of the past as creative criticisms for shaping human attitudes today, and shows his readers various practices of the self through meditation and inner examination, as well as the practice of telling the truth (parrhesia) to oneself and to others. The second author analyses degrees of integration of plurality and multiculturality values in the curricula of Islamic Religious Education and Catholic Religious Education in high schools in Indonesia, in order to explore students’ possible contribution in promoting the values in the society. The third author correlates experiences, theories, and possibilities concerning the emergence of philosophical thoughts in Indonesia from a hermeneutical viewpoint, and sees how the thoughts build up from the real situations lived by ordinary people responding to the challenges in their lives. The fourth author explores the power of music through its particular elements, which includes melody, rhythm, harmony, beat, dynamics, timbre, and lyrics, in relation to human character education. The fifth author explores the elements of Christian communication based on the Church teachings on the subject matter, in order to counter the tendency of desacralisation of the self on social media and to promote truthful as well as deliberating communication in the society. These authors contribute insights from different perspectives on the interrelatedness of experience and idea.

                What we sense in experience turns into something completely different when reflected on in our mind and written in words. Perhaps this image of a passage can elucidate the movement of our sensitivity. Still, human senses are amazing.

     

    Editor.

  • Vol. 35 No. 1 (2019)

                Why spirituality? Human beings as reflected in their knowledge are a multilayered reality. We cannot ignore some layers of our reality simply because we do not (want to) understand them. When reality is seen as a thing in itself, science as well as philosophy and theology might detach themselves and become ‘neutral’, which, in a sense, are not personal or related to human beings anymore. Spirituality takes everything personal, since each person is related to the reality in ways undreamed-of. There is always a perhaps in our being connected personally to reality.

                Our business with this kind of ‘perhaps’ extends towards texts on spirituality and eventually the Scriptures. This edition of Melintas will explore how human beings relate themselves personally to God. The first article explores the theories and insights of the spiritual stage theory from Islam through Sufism using the psychology of Al-Hakim al Tirmidhi and Christianity through Teresa of Avila, and the spiritual direction best suited for spiritual directees at different stages. The second article suggests that violence in the Christian biblical texts must be understood within the context of defining religious identity of a nation among the other nations that have their own gods. Violence in the biblical texts cannot be referred to as a sort of justification for any violent acts by religions in our multireligious and multiethnic society. The third article contemplates the aspects of human personal experience of the Holy Spirit in relation to the theological language of the Persons in Trinity, so that the Christians may discern the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. It sees the need of ‘translating’ theological language into comprehensible language of catechism. The fourth article examines the resurrection narrative of Jesus Christ in Luke 23:56-24:12 by revealing its narrative elements and offering day-to-day inspirations that might be beneficial to the Christians. The fifth article contemplates the cross of Jesus Christ in its paradox and how in the light of Balthasar’s theology the cross is seen as the revealing beauty of God’s glory in Christ’s loving gesture towards humanity and the world. From these articles, some layers of our relation to reality emerge not as usual business, but as a spirituality that cannot be unnoticed. Spirituality is always personal.

                We need to reconsider the tendency of being ‘neutral’ in philosophising and theologising. In that way, we might forfeit the richness of our personal relations to reality and a deeper knowledge of the self in the presence of The Other.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 34 No. 3 (2018)

    We are learning seriously about things that matter to us. For not everything matters, and human beings will not learn about anything. Our humanity leads us towards some purposes that can be seen only by each of us, and this path brings enjoyment. It is remarkable to see how children can learn so much by playing, as if there is no other way of learning. It might be hilarious as well, if only we, adults, can see learning and playing as two sides of the same coin. An interplay between our experience and our knowledge was once associated with the so-called reflexive learning – a serious ‘game’ of mind, if you like.

    The business of learning about our being human in the world can lead to further moral and theological reflections. In this edition of Melintas we will find some authors who are seeing reasons and purposes that have moved different people towards different paths of life. The first author sees how philosophy-learning is an integral part of the educational formation at the Faculty of Theology, Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is integrated with theology and other sciences-learning to shape the identity of the faculty and to contribute to the development of the community. The second author shifts the focus from the study of knowledge to the study of human self-interest according to St. Augustine and Thomas Hobbes. While Augustine believes that self-interest is a dark act rooted in self-love and must be subjugated to the absolute God, Hobbes sees that the natural state of human beings is in war with each other and harmony can be established by a sovereign ruler. The third author reflects on death and eternal life theologically in face of the fact that most Christians still find it hard to accept death as part of their life. The article attempts to explore some biblical, philosophical, and theological perspectives on the subject matters. The fourth author explores part of the Eucharist in relation to the priest’s role in the Catholic ritual and explains how Christ's presence in the Liturgy of the Word is marked symbolically with the book of Evangeliary and with the act of proclaiming the Gospel. The fifth author reflects on the intellectual formation of priest candidates in the Catholic Church and how studying philosophy, theology, and humanities underlies the call towards discipleship and witness.

    Learning about our humanity and our purpose in life can be done on different paths, but it should bring delight and playfulness. We need not exaggerate our approach in learning, for we only see something seriously when it matters to us. In fact, we should enjoy our knowledge. Hope you know how.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 34 No. 2 (2018)

                Being a nation is more than a matter of identity, let alone a matter of religion. We do not introduce ourselves to others starting with a nationality. But belonging to a nation shapes our images of who we are and of our personhood. We might be learning things about ourselves precisely when telling others about who we are in what we are doing at the moment. Then comes the emotion. People smile. We are happy and settled when connected to the differences surrounding us. Everyone needs a place.

                This edition of Melintas brings philosophical and theological reflections on finding ourselves through community, dialogue, politics, science, and art. The first article shows how Christian communities can develop themselves into ‘counter-communities’. This article is aimed at discovering the relevance of the idea ‘counter-communities’ to the problems of coexistence of different religious followers in the Post-New-Order era in Indonesia. The second article introduces the views of Carlo Maria Martini, who, as a Catholic bishop, has promoted the idea of creating a society that supports diversity to be a new world order. The author relates them to Anthony Giddens and Raimon Panikkar, and finds how Martini’s ideas can be practised not only by inclusivists and pluralists, but also by exclusivists. The third article portrays the dynamics of democracy in Indonesia, both in its formal settings and as a building that allows humanity reach its dignity. Pancasila Democracy can be a space for a change towards Indonesia that is more animating to the spirit of divinity, humanity, and nationalism and towards a society with solid physical and spiritual well-being. The fourth article sees how the spirit of modernism to question and to break down nature, religion, and tradition under the pretext of pragmatic utopia of growth has brought humanity into an alarming phase. It refers to Fritjof Capra when saying that that the main problem of the existential crisis of modern humans is caused by the crisis of perception, mainly with the influence and errors from science as well as from Cartesian and Newtonian thoughts in perceiving the reality mechanically. The fifth article refers to Sartre when offering a notion of analogon, that has a key role to explain his concept of imagination. The author goes further in explaining Sartre’s concept of irreality in artworks, of which analogon is a medium or a material vehicle. A person’s imagination plays an important role in his or her presence before an artwork.

                Will we find our place? At any given moment. Otherwise, there will be no reflection anymore in our imagination to play with. It is not wrong to be grateful of our nation. It has been our place to live. Thank God we can find some happiness in realising who we are.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 34 No. 1 (2018)

         When changes dominate our reality, there are people who are still petrified of them. Being frightened of change could be compared to being afraid of the reality itself. We have a very long philosophical history of the self and even this very moment is not its conclusion. Why should change be frightening? So much for the ideal formulation of the self that just brings us more and more distant from our ‘self’. Some might sense that this awareness is more aristotelian in character, but we could say that changes are the reality and reality is actual in changes. There is no sense in judging any change in our society.

         The realness of life we live by day after day might not so much change us as teach us who we are. This edition of Melintas brings us different perspectives. The first article brings the question of how the self – central to epistemological inquiries – be justified by the presence of consciousness. Constructing answers to this colossal undertaking of religious identity invites a thorough understanding of how human beings can be taken as conscious. The second article presents Foucault’s philosophical thinking on the constitution of the self as the peak point of all his works from his early writings through his last writings, lectures, and seminars. To Foucault, this particular “self” should be seen as a result of a work of art that is ordered and engraved creatively and continuously. The third article discusses how Jean-Luc Marion pushes phenomenology to its limits, to the extent that he is suspected of undermining the role of the subject in contemporary philosophical discourse. However, Marion is quite consistent with his phenomenology, namely in offering a way out for the subject to be a witness. The author seeks insights for the benefit of philosophical and theological methodologies. The fourth article sees how the Declaration of Human Rights is universal in character – hence they can become a point of convergence among different religions – but is also susceptible to political manipulation, and subject to criticism from particular religious perspectives as well as from scientific outlook. Meanwhile, atheist scientists come up with a point of view which they claim to be more neutral and objective as far as it concerns the ideal of ‘good life’. The fifth article talks about spirituality that transforms human beings. It is not only associated with humans’ internal desires, but also something that leads them to use, develop, and optimize various other materials and cultures that could be treasured around them. Spirituality is a power to create a better life – an identity in action.

         The self changes. Reality is change. These perspectives are indispensable in our life in this world. Even if we are still unsure in accepting our ‘self’ or the reality itself, we could just shift a bit from where we stand. Yes, shift.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 33 No. 3 (2017)

         The world is not about thought, since we see, smell, hear, and touch metaphorically. Analogy has been our way of living and relating, and in that way we are always part of the breathing reality. We move through the mystery of what we easily label experience. Do we know anything about it? Or, do we think that we know anything about it? This sort of mystery simply embarrasses us to the point that we would say to everybody that we do not want to be a theologian. We want to be left alone with our own thoughts of everything we experience in this world – these thoughts give us lonesomeness. And reality continues to breath around us.

         This edition of Melintas presents theological reflections on human experiences. The first article attempts to explore some areas of convergences and divergences between Gabriel Marcel and Ludwig Binswanger, in dialogue with the Filipino concept of loob-kapwa, which the author believes provides a hospitable home for the intersubjective relation. The second article takes Hagar, a biblical figure, as a model of a woman who overcomes violence and oppression in her life – a model for many women struggling to defend their rights and dignities and believing in God who saves and frees them. Hagar never gives up amid the many difficulties she is facing as a single parent. The third article brings Heidegger’s ideas and insights to reveal the poetical dimension of religion in our contemporary world, in which religion is facing various criticisms on the violence it ironically provokes. The fourth article discusses the wrath of God towards human sexual asininity (pathe atimias) based on Paul’s letter to Rome 1:18-32. The text quotes Paul as explaining that idolatry is the result of erroneous relationship between human and God mirrored in aberrant sexuality. The fifth article speaks of the phenomenon of suffering especially in the Book of Job. The issues of human unresolved suffering, sin, and the mystery of God are brought together and related to the situation of the HIV/AIDS victims to recommend the appropriate disposition and approaches.

         We want to reconnect with our experiences and to do it theologically as well, because our everydayness in the world does not always ‘make sense’. At times we simply have no idea (thought), and we need to go through the mysteries and to figure out what to do along the way. What if experience is religious?

    Editor.

  • Vol. 33 No. 2 (2017)

    So many illusions. But that is just a thought. And as long as we think, things might not appear as they are. From the outset of everyone’s eagerness to think, there has been this instinct to distinguish this term from that term. We simply cannot perceive anything in this world, for when trying to tell others about our experience of it, we fall back into the trap of terminology. We cannot live with others without communicating, and thus the distinguishing mind is justifiable. We need not frown upon these terms, however exhausted our mind is in using them, for these are worth the time we spend to live our mind.

    Something inside us pushes the mind to reflect upon the meanings conveyed through conversations. Melintas gives way to it. This edition cultivates reflection and distinction, as well as contemplation and action. The first article reflects upon the idea of homo economicus, which was originally a particular point of view about humans but later turned into a claim about the whole of human nature. The author argues that it is not the economic beings that gave birth to economics, but the economics that created economic beings. The second article shifts the focus from concept to image. Phenomenologically speaking, art is a sort of lectio imaginem, an experience of reading and not merely interpreting the image. Each artwork is transcendent, as it were, since every time it will speak differently to a person when reencountered. The third article contemplates time biblically, especially when people think that there is good time and there is bad time. The author argues with the help of the Book of Ecclesiastes, that God has made every thing beautiful in its time, and that each point of time is theologically beautiful. The fourth article discusses the concepts of salvation according to the Ekagii people in Papua, Indonesia. The author correlates these concepts with that of Saint Paul, especially in his escathology. Paul’s tension between the terms ‘already’ and ‘not yet’ is different, but in some sense similar to the cultural concepts of the Ekagii people. The fifth article speaks about how some culturally meaningful rituals can be integrated into the liturgy. The author shows how the Javanese funeral ritual of brobosan could be seen as a pastoral means to foster the faith of the believers and at the same time to evangelise the gospel. The funeral is seen as an entrance for inculturation, bringing Christian liturgy towards the local culture and vice versa.

    Our minds distinguish terms and meanings. Even if what appears to our perception is the so-called illusion, we need it as well. This tension in our way of experiencing reality and communicating our ideas keeps the conversations alive. Our minds are alive. In reality.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 33 No. 1 (2017)

    Salvation. Is it a term for theologians or philosophers? Everyone wants to be saved. But from what? When it comes down to the ‘what’ which we want to be saved from, we do not think about the lens anymore to look at the term. Being human is the reason. Thus any discipline can and in fact must talk about how our humanity can be saved. Whatever profession we are doing right now is an opportunity to walk with the others towards the saving of humanity from anything in the world, or even within ourselves, that degrades it.

    That is probably one of the causes of why ethics could be tough for some people. This edition of Melintas thinks about our being human together. We cannot exist happily in an isolated room of our appartment. The first article reflects on gender in religious ethics and practices. The author wants to unearth the insidious force of gender in the assignment of roles ‘skewed’ to favour men over women, and to highlight the underlying influence of gender on the various ethics and practices of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The second article explores a theology with ‘freedom’ paradigm that understands grace as God and God’s actions in relationship with and insofar as humans experience them. The author explains how grace is conveyed through the celebration of the sacraments, in which the faithful experience that God is present and salvation is realised in real symbols. The third article presents Foucault’s notion on power as practiced throughout the history of the systems of thought, how this can be read into in any political power, and how his thought can be seen as criticism of various repressive powers practiced in Indonesia. The fourth article explores some similarities and differences between Foucault’s understandings and Nietzsche’s understandings of the genealogy of morals. The author argues that with reference to these thinkers one at least can be alert to whatever appears convincing so as to recognise the motive of power behind it. The fifth article sees an inequality of positions between the parties in the so-called “standard agreement” of business activities, and the fact that effectivity and efficiency are highly considered in business that human rights are often ignored. The author argues that since this kind of agreement is still needed by the society, there is a requirement to apply the principle of justice in formulating the agreement.

    There are always covert motives in our being together as humans. Ethics, politics, theology, and philosophy should help us save humanity, because otherwise academicians are like individuals living isolated in their own appartment and minding their own business or salvation. We are not very much plural in matters of being human.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 32 No. 3 (2016)

    If only a dialogue really transforms the interlocutors, differences will be a copiousness. Problem is, it often remains a dispute. No one knows the hidden discourse inside every other self. When practised through the everydayness, dialogue always conceals some motives and goals. It is almost impossible to be truthful in the so-called sharing of everything, even if this ‘everything’ has been visible and changeless. But maybe that change is the real horror behind every dialogue! Truth be told, no one wants to change. ‘Transformation’ is perhaps only for the spokespersons. The more people seek changes, the greater the fear that things might get even worse.

    But we can discuss about dialogue. In conversing about this theme, we will soon be confronted with our being self and the different, sometimes contrasting, selves of other people. Melintas wants to explore our relations with the community, the body, the suffering, justice, and other religions. The first writing seeks the opportunities to realise the task of the Catholic universities in developing dialogue and harmony in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The author suggests  a model of community transformative dialogue as a contextual and cultural dialogue that could be effective and appropriate for the multicultural and multireligious societies. The second writing  observes the tendency of the commodification of the body in health services that views human body as an economical commodity and causes alienating experiences. In the light of Edmund D. Pellegrino and Alfred I. Tauber, the author highlights the importance of the apprehension towards the patient as ‘persona’ in response to the tendency. The third article sheds light on the problem of suffering using the Scriptures and Catholic theology to find the different meanings behind it. The concept of God as ‘Loving Father’ is offered to help suffering people grow in their faith as God’s children. The fourth article sees the problems around the theme of justice by criticising Lockean liberalism and Marxian socialism, and in turn proposing John Rawls’s “justice as fairness” as a fresh start to build a better society. The author also finds correlations of Rawls’s theory and the philosophy of Pancasila in Indonesia. The fifth writing interprets the formulation of the vision and the mission of the Diocese of Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, particularly in shaping the relationship of the Catholics with people of other religions. The author sees some opportunities in the diocese to establish dialogue in the light of a “spirit of encounter” in order to live the image of the church as a church of relation.

    We do not know when change happens, or if it happens at all. Realities change, but we, humans, seem to always find ways not to change. When fear gets in the way, every act of sharing is contested with the very motive of our presence in front of the others. Still, there is much about peace that brings more likeable change. We need to intuit.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 32 No. 2 (2016)

    Art does not choose. Humans do. When the freedom to be is conversed, we know that some balances in our thoughts and images are shaken. As art fills the gaps of our life graciously, being anything should not be a problem for anyone living in this same earth. Art relates humans in ways that our rational judgment cannot fully clarify or justify, for relationship might be our only chance to preserve our humanity. That is why, when isolating instead of relating, every artistic work would fall into a nonbeing. We need not judge any existence. We simply respect creatures and things we do not choose to live with. Perhaps nature chooses?

    If only choosing is not something we ‘have to’ do, being related could be a good alternative for our way of being. This edition of Melintas provokes our imagination in human rights, aesthetics, theology, and ecology. The first article observes some problems in Indonesia concerning children’s civil rights, and particularly in relation to legitimate and illegitimate children. The author will discuss children’s civil rights based on civil law, human rights, and justice principle in Indonesia. The second article explores Noël Carroll’s emancipatory analytical aesthetics to approach the works of art epistemologically. It offers Caroll’s revision on Kantian aesthetic experience and Levinsonian historical definition of art towards a “historical narrative” of artwork and its criticism. The third article sees how a way of theologising by way of a ‘freedom’ paradigm can conform the requirement of reason to borderlessly question the fundamental cause of everything. ‘Freedom’ paradigm brings the potential to be the reference in understanding and formulating Christian fundamental doctrines on many themes. The fourth article looks at how ritual and art are inseparable, and that both are the hermeneutical site of meanings and values that simultaneously become the same place to find answers and to restore humanity. Ritual and art are considered central through the processes of humanisation and divinisation. The fifth article explores Christian ecological love as a crucial response to the escalating problems of human-nature relationship, from the aesthetic-theological approach. The author sees love as the self’s involvement to participate in the life of the other, that is, through the real and constructive encounters of human and nature that preserve the beautiful existence of both.

    We do not choose our being human nor judge other’s being in the world, but we all are related aesthetically and naturally. Conversing about our being related to any other might bring about the awareness of being chosen as a human being. And in this knowledge, we will not be judged by those related to us, except let live in the freedom.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 32 No. 1 (2016)

    Even when figured conceptually, learning is never simply a matter of logic. There are just too many intertwined fibers in human experience that need language overlapses to disclose them to our consciousness. Each time we interact with texts or phenomena, are we examining or learning? We might say that ‘good’ texts make us learn something and ‘bad’ things urge us to examine what possibly went wrong. But whether good or bad, each experience challenges us to learn. Learning is a process that widely and subtly ‘moves’ every culture in the world, not in a dominating intention, but in a shock of recognition. We recognise the truth in learning, for it discloses itself without needing our genius. Logic is not everything.


    Hence, there could not be learning by power, however reasonable is the process. Truth is true rather than simply reasonable. It refers to its own way, while reasoning to our way. Should we not learning instead of assessing? Melintas is here to ask some disclosive reading. The first writing observes the problems ignited by power in Nigeria, by looking at the use of power by the political actors, especially during the democratic dispensation. The author finds that the flagrant disregard for the rule of law as an abuse of power has been the bane to good governance. Power does not help to learn. The second writing explores the cultural claims of Seyla Benhabib towards a model of deliberative cosmopolitan democracy. Egalitarian reciprocity, voluntary self-ascription, and freedom of exit and association are three normative conditions supporting the culture as a social construct that is mixed and plural. The third writing sees the learning process in education inspired by a particular Sundanese text, Sewaka Darma, and its pedagogical implications. This text contains a particular model of education by way of teaching the wisdom of life to a student in order to be a knowing and integral person. The fourth writing looks at different approaches by Simone de Beauvoir and Emmanuel Levinas in seeing transcendence. Transcendence can be viewed as a process from within the subject as well as an attraction from ‘the other’; it is simply sensed and cannot be mastered. The fifth writing explores Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception, particularly on the experience of sense. The author walks through Merleau-Ponty’s critique on empiricism and intellectualism, to come to the ideas of sense experience with and through the body and bodily experience with and through the world.
    Learning includes sensing through experiences. Changes are learned, not merely imposed. When reason(ing) is the only power governing our acts, we might not learn anything at all. Sensitivity is one of the most urgent requirements now in order that the world recognise the truth disclosively. A ‘sensible’ culture?

    Editor

  • Vol. 31 No. 3 (2015)

    Images are playing the game through ethics and religion. In redefining our relation to each of the philosophical and theological fields, images are flying around and waiting to be connected by our imagination. Connecting images and interpreting the narratives behind the phenomena are what keep discourses alive. And this cannot be done alone. We need a community which, in the world today, is growing and continuously shaping our relationships as human beings. More important than the individual speculation is the communal discourse needed by both philosophy and theology.


    Discourses among communities will not happen coincidentally. It is clearly an effort towards ‘the other’. This edition of Melintas (re)connects the images and methods of different disciplines to retrieve the so-called communal discourse. The first article redefines ethics and culture in the virtual world. Today artificiality changes the game of ethics towards a different approach of ‘commonality’ that is no longer constructed based on conventional social bonds, but more on artificial bonds. Connection mediates and dissociates. The second article sees how video-mapping in digital culture can retell geographical memories and narratives in ways unimaginable before. The works of one of the film and video makers in Indonesia on the iconic buildings of some cities are examined phenomenologically. The third article inquires the quick growth of the Catholic Church community in Manggarai, Flores, Indonesia, with a phenomenology of conversion. By using theories of intellectual voluntarism and structural determinism, the author explores the political-economical, educational, social-services related, and religious-theological factors of the phenomenon. The author of the fourth article, inspired by Foucault, shows that the meaning of food ought to be extended from the nutritive intrinsic aspects towards the political or cultural aspects. Food is a means to construct subject, and in a sense, food governs or ‘normalises’ people in their social life. The fifth article sees reflectively the ethics of ‘homage’ and its practice in the Chinese tradition, especially among the Chinese Christians in Indonesia. This ethics is centered around the ethics of the family, but it might be tainted by the political-ideological content. Hence, it needs a ‘homage-theology’, which is more liberating and transforming.


    To be communal, any discourse relates the individuals to the community, or communities. The flying images of community are not forever unrelated. When connected, they construct narratives—our contemporary narratives of being on this earth. We are not so much journeying back to the great narratives of history, as positioning ourselves within the network of the past, the present, and the future. We are just in time.

    Editor

  • Vol. 31 No. 2 (2015)

    Death might not be in deadly embrace with life. Well, yes if one renders it absolute. Thinking with Sartre would simply break down everything into complete absurdity. It means that absolutising life, however positive the language and the images, brings the same implacable consequence. Heidegger, in spite of that, brings difference. Death is part of life, of being human. It is what makes us human in the fullest sense of the word. It does not stop us for being who we are, for it always offers moments to adjudicate. Our last minute dauntlessness recovers all the fragments of our being human and opens up the ‘alter-native’ of the self. A rebirth of the self, not in random and numberless events, but in a single and unparalleled transformation. Embracing the pitch-black part of our mind is probably not the end of our being exist. It is subsisting.

    We may find truth in things that appear not true. In not resisting death and not absolutising life, we subsist. Thinking is both, hence Melintas continues to converse the dynamic relationship of philosophy and theology. The first article in this edition sees the ontological awareness of the existence of Dasein towards death as an authentic mode of existence. In health care idle talk or gossipping can cause Dasein to forget its authentic being, but narration provides assistance to the patient to affirm that illness is a mode of being as well. The second article attempts to reread Nietzsche’s ‘truth’ in the light of his unpublished essay (1872). It offers an interpretation that Nietzsche does not make a new theory of truth in the essay, but rather examines and constates truths that hold true. The third writing interprets the different layers of meaning in some parts of Samel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot by using Ricoeur’s hermeneutics. This absurd drama not only portrays life in boredom, but also gives rise to fresh insights whenever one is engaged in its eventful discourse. The fourth writing reflects on the idea of God in the contexts of modernism, postmodernism, and John Henry Newman’s thought of illative sense. Newman might be considered as a constructive postmodern in offering a power owned by every believer to make sense God’s existence epistemologically. The fifth article sees how today the fragmented views of food have turned into a threat to humanity, but also a great opportunity to highlight the missing aspects of food in the midst of contemporary culture. This opportunity might help people experience the holistic, relational, and ‘sacramental’ aspects of food and eating.

    Subsisting, now we may sense, is not simply existing. It is like an event of moving from one layer to another in our being human here and now, and not of departing to a completely different and unheard-of world. By not allowing the tendency to absolutise life or death, we might see things ‘other-wise’. Just move and subsist.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 31 No. 1 (2015)

    Someone once asked whether God was a believer. If religion is truly divine, it must have come from God. Now that is where we were usually heading when the self-appointed dialogue was organised. It is nowhere, actually. We could be word-for-word when theologising. One can say philosophising as well, by the way. What makes the difference is when there is an elfin and negligible liaison that ignites translation. If that occurs, we will be shifting on and on till the cows come home, in a good sense. Translation is not a linguistic process, but rather a transforming adventure. Religions really need to walk the walk. Go somewhere on the feet. It is not that we will certainly find God, but that God will make us. Translating is about recognising different signs of peace from within each religious tradition.


    When there is even nothing to read, we can continue interpreting anything. The world is a text, thus Melintas is here to present the ‘translation’. The first piece philosophically reflects on the world as a cultural stage reinterpreting and transforming the traditions. Art performance is seen as a retranslation of culture through the neverending conversation where traditions are reinvented, and extended to their unpredictable potentialities. In the next article Christianity is confronted with the inescapable fact of plurality of religions and thereby is called out to reformulate its self understanding contextually. The question of being inclusive or pluralistic is meditated in ‘dialogue’ with Edward Schillebeeckx. The third piece takes a break in the event of 50 years of the Second Vatican Council by considering the existing dichotomy between the liberal and the conservative in Catholicism. The Church’s responses need to be more inclined towards macro-ethics rather than micro-ethics. The fourth departs from Job’s suffering in the Scripture to find insights for the Catholics so as to experience their sufferings as part of life in God. Confessing one’s suffering in the same breath is confessing a God who can do all things. The fifth article presents a hermeneutics of Alquran in the thoughts of Hasan Hanafi. His unique hermeneutics sees Alquran as an ideal ‘mirror’ of the expressions of reality in life with the solution to particular problems in the banality of individual and communal life. The Scripture is both text and context.
    When its meaning is outstretched, translation turns into recognition of signs among various languages, cultures, and traditions. It is always a process of learning, rather than teaching doctrines. When we walk the footway, conversation is fated. It is the connecting point where translation happens and transforms us. ‘The Other’ is in the network.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 30 No. 3 (2014)

    Is laughter rooted in humour? Put it differently. Should our expressions originate from values? Again, differently. Must there be reason for our being (alive)? Nonexisting black cat in a pitch black room. Mind can trace whatever into the logic of being. All this game might be nothing in the end. But the end itself is not an end. Philosophy for philosophy, if there is ever, is simply a game we have never played as being played by whoever we sigh as ‘the other’. What do we say again, about what value is? We really like to be admired with those oomphs and zings when we – philosophise. Not everyone would be happy, but it is a kind of intriguing. We know that something is wrong. There is a gap, again. There is a forever halt between our presence and our reason.


    This edition of Melintas questions connections. Ideas can always be challenged by facts, and values by living actions. The first article explores John Dewey’s ethical values of democracy. The idea is that he does not only look for the solution of the problems of democracy, but also put democracy in living process. Actualisations must be sought through education. The second brings forward character education within the globalised culture. One of the keywords is ‘balance’ in assisting the growth of a person towards the so-called and hoped-for good characters. The author raises the thoughts of Ki Hadjar Dewantara. The third article relates a person to other persons based on Martin Buber’s notion linked to Emmanuel Levinas. Relations are brought back to the context of human being and meaningful relationship. We are not objects, undoubtedly. The fourth will table Axel Honneth’s thought that the theoretical foundation of intersubjective relationship is not only based on human communication dimension, but also the recognition dimension. The latter is not so much about communication method as a witness that we are just here. The fifth article will walk us through the path of laughter as a signal of transcendence, a call to be ‘humanum’, to be authentic, complete, and true human being. When we laugh, we live through our most fundamental life, if not also the sacred moment of blending with the divine. Are not these about our being present, rather than only reasonable? When bridging persons, philosophy can be brainless.


    So what are values, again? The black cat was here. We just missed it. But most important is that we are au fait. We sense the traces and touch the surface. No one can be present intellectually, but indeed humorously. We do not need five seconds to answer the most difficult question in our life. Just smile. They can see us. You are recognised.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 30 No. 2 (2014)

    Perhaps one of the dangerous things in method development is intolerance. Some might feel shaky when assuming that everything is allowed in discussing knowledge apprehension. However, fear of this all-permitted access to knowledge has sometimes been hammed up. Elitist would want to incarcerate methods to a few people and soon after that the stigma of intellectual heresy, or ‘uncommonness’ if you like, is attributed to those seeing from different perspectives however rewarding their methods are. Methodological intolerance is a warning light to any thinkers who might have devoted knowledge only to the mainstream. Why is method development so late? Intolerance. If there is any ‘people power’ in philosophical and theological thoughts, this, as anticipated, cannot bring up only a few. The method of most people – again, if there is any – needs some of the most tolerant thinkers in the world to formulate and this will be against the mainstream. Yet after that it still has to face the judgement of the few. Sad.

    Melintas is always crossing. It does not want to curb the exuberance of method exploration. In exploring methods, this edition presents different perspectives in tolerance with what happen and are experienced among the peoples and the cultures. These might have their own avenues and approaches that we cannot ridicule as not methodological. We will be enriched through the rereading of the biblical Kingdom of God within the context of armed conflict in Mindanao, the Philippines. The author raises the issue of how the kingdom of God which embodies God’s love, peace, liberation and justice should be understood and concretised in a way that it could inform and influence the different religious groups and organisations involved in the peace process. Wilhelm von Humboldt’s philosophy of education will be discussed for the development of one’s integrity. When interpreted and applied critically, Humboldt’s ideas of education may contribute a great deal to the development of educational system as well as philosophy of education in Indonesia. Another article will discuss Jean-Luc Marion’s ideas that incorporate a phenomenological method to move towards philosophy of givenness and the saturated phenomena. Marion’s phenomenology allows us to describe any phenomenon in the form of, or order of, the other. Joh Henry Newman’s idea of the illative sense will be explored as a way of explaining the sensus fidelium, which is based not simply on the intellect but also on the logic of the heart. Newman’s illative sense is regarded helpful to understand the believers’ way of apprehension in matters of faith, for they might have adopted a particular way of apprehending the objects of faith. A particular discussion on the imaginative preaching in the Christian liturgy will be presented in the last article. A homily is a space that captures various images from the Scriptures as well as from the believers’ experiences and paints them through the verbal language, which is used not only to ‘explain’ something already known by the hearers, but to present a figurative language that may open the horizons.

    Enrichment is a promise to experience only when these articles are skimmed through with tolerance to the methods of the peoples. These approaches are first of all making sense to those that are not always with the mainstream. They often do not need our judgement, but instead apprehension. Theories are what we formulate. Methods what we live by.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 30 No. 1 (2014)

    Life is blue, or red, or white. Why not black? There comes the rationalisation. Might those be our eyes and not life itself? The mind will continue seeing, exploring and thinking of this life, but not always of the eyes that see and perceive it. Ethics could be ridiculous, but somehow it cannot be wiped out of human’s existence, for in it theology touches philosophy and vice versa. Those delving into the depth and reams of why we should or should not do this and that are often alleged to have nothing to do than wasting time and perhaps changing only a handful of people out of billions. If we side with this charge, there is no need for any talks in academy. No need for a journal. The death of thought. And death is not life anymore. Yet we are still here, reading and thinking, seeing and imagining.

    Melintas in this beginning of the new year wants to see and reimagine life. This life is not only about human’s life, but also everything that is growing, breathing, changing. This journal is always changing. It opposes sameness, for the latter simply tends towards death. In an article, the death penalty, as a violation of fundamental human rights, is considered wrong even if it could be shown that it uniquely met a vital social need. What makes the use of the death penalty even more indefensible is that it has never been shown to have any special power to meet any genuine social need. We will read also that an aesthetic experience is moving between the directions of a pendulum, i.e., when the artwork appeared to the awareness of the subject and when the experiencing subject narrated the experience. Not only an aesthetic experience encourages a particular moral action, the artwork itself might stand as a medium of a moral struggle for the betterment of the people. Something good is found as well in humour and laughing. There is an article saying that through this aspect of language, human as homo ridens, a laughing being, is illustrated as a playful being, a social being, and a spiritual being. But human is not alone. There is the environment and we need an environmental ethics. Human behaviour is to be conceived of and conducted in line with an eco-philosophy. The politics of environmental law is the policy direction to be set by the government so as to achieve the goals and objectives in the protection and the management of the environment. Lastly, by referring to the variety of cultures that have emerged and flourished in Indonesia, an author tries to figure the depth of ‘belief’ in God in relation to the respective cultural and spiritual expressions, and through the rituals performed by the people of belief (kepercayaan) Sunda Wiwitan. Those articles are blue, red, white, and black. You name it. Again, it is not so much the essence of life as the eyes that see, explore and think of it.

    Now we might have changed a little bit if we read anything. Life itself is not changing. Our eyes are. Perhaps we will awake to see that our life as well as others’ are not that bad anyway. We are moving towards a difference, one step at a time. Ridiculousness might be just another way of saying a difference, as stupidity of a brilliance.

    Editor.

  • Vol. 29 No. 3 (2013)

    Editorial:

    To some there is a clear discernible difference between using logic and doing it. Perhaps to some other the difference is the least of their worries. But when doing logic is required in very real situations, the worry is not a matter of thought or belief anymore. It is a matter of illogicality. Realness often reveals unreasonableness. If a human being has always been understood as a logical creature, then reality can be categorised as the only ‘illogical’ creature in this world. But cannot reality have its own story? Cannot ‘the Other’ – God, theologically – tell a different narrative of the same world where human live through all these centuries? It is not so much about respect as the existence of things we normally do not understand. Before knowing anything, we were simply seeing visions. Those visions do not make sense. They are artlessly real, taking place, effectuating. Hold the logic, for it only stops the realness.

    This edition of Melintas attempts to honour ‘the other’ in various ways. It tells stories. Realness – kesunyataan – appears in contexts and methods, in errors and sins, in cultures and schools. The trauma of victimisation is reflected from the acts of violence, hatred, and crime. The role of forgiveness is explored in mitigating such feelings, but there must be opportunities for ‘the other’ to change. A post-critical understanding of the Kingdom of God using Ricoeur’s hermeneutics leads to a different ‘logic’ of a ‘vision’. Here vision functions as a meta-critical understanding that destabilises existing awareness and brings it to a futuristic horizon or eschatological openness. A cosmology among the Sundanese in West Java elaborated from their narrative poems and an old Sundanese manuscript reveals a down-upward journey to experience ‘moksa’ (the ultimate enligtment). The Sundanese enact the ‘mountain’ and the metaphor of ‘filled-nothingness’ as their cosmological model. Frankfurt School’s thought, which generally focuses its attention on the life of the society and the culture,  is discussed from a different perspective concerning its assessment on theology. A narrative-analysis of the Scriptures in the context of Christian hermeneutics is explored so as to give weight to faith confession, liturgy, and catechesis. By entering the ‘narrative world’ constructed by the authors of the Scriptures, the reader participates in the ‘world of images’ presenting the meanings contained in it and that brings a useful faculty for the contextual praxis of proclamation. In all these articles, otherness is listened and appreciated. Again, we might hold our ‘logic’ in the act of listening.

    Perhaps one of the absurdities of otherness is simply a new meaning. Listening to ‘the other’, like seeing the visions, means absorbing every different meaning into one’s story, which, in time, will be our stories. We will not be dealing with only ‘logical’ stories, for there is not one. It is like saying that not one of our theologies is ‘logical’, for those are merely our or sometimes claimed to be God’s stories as well. But at least one thing is undeniable. We only tell ‘our’ stories, that is, things that happen, take place, effectuate us. Realness happens.

    Editor.
  • Vol. 29 No. 2 (2013)

    Editorial:

    Economy and sharing, would they be reconcilable? If truth is to be told hermeneutically, our discourse must be done in movement. The act of sharing cannot be talked about. It is an a posteriori which truth always comes late when put in discourse. An economy of sharing, as it were, might be efficacious when more and more actions are brought closer to discourse and vice versa. Sharing cannot stand under experience only. Sharing is the discourse in its essence, for every partition in our knowledge, like in a hard disk, parcels the same power supply. Some argue about the individual in our economic world, and some other would rather cross any rationalisation to emancipate the capital. The latter are in fact discoursing with ‘the other’, realising that any discourse cannot happen when I is only me. An economy of sharing is everything about we, all joking aside.

    This edition of Melintas puts our economy into the actions. We know that truth is always plural, not because it does not like singularity; it just cannot help staying with itself. When those economic actions are discoursed, truth interrupts. A philosophical remark on Hannah Arendt’s Human Condition uncovers life under economic colonisation. Arendt’s insistence on direct participation in political life has reminded us that citizens must be able to take care of their own desires and interests. A revitalisation of a ‘consecutive sharing’ principle in the light of Antonio Negri is put forward. Negri’s account of the power of sharing of the multitude reminds us in order to revitalise the capability of sharing within our cultural heritages. A critique towards the concept of methodological individualism in economics is presented to distinguish it from political individualism. The aim is to open further possibilities for other methodology in economics. In the age of digital sharing, photography is reconsidered within the potentiality of a paradigm shift and the interpretation of truth. Perhaps “photography is dead” only if it is considered as a representation of the reality. Photography may not die if it is seen poetically as our interpretation of reality. A genetic and memetic structuralism study is employed on the social cognition process of ‘Batik Bogor’ considered as a particular social ‘action’ due to its tendency to create and develop its own distinction. These articles are of economy, sharing, and truth as captured in the society and the media. We all share the same power supply, that is, the energy of the world we live in. And this energy is not merely about capital.

    Doing philosophy from actions is part of the movement in the whole idea of sharing. Pluralism is not a threat. It is a help. Our ways of photographing the movement of the truth are corroborated by the multitude around us. We may see each other’s exposure, for exactly in the flicker and manoeuvre towards ‘the other’ we are transforming from simply me into the vigour of we. This philosophy entails every movement to subsist, that is, to be there but always in relation to the other.

    Editor.
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