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.


Published: 2016-05-19