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.


Published: 2017-09-06