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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.