By Fred Laceda
In a fast-changing world, even theological institutions need to grasp intuitively the inner workings of such change. This means that the classroom is just but one of the available platforms of formation. Penuel is known to use various modes and mediums to deliver its message whether in lecture halls or in the streets. In the past five years, Penuel has emphasized putting into writing the research done by its faculty. This includes several writing retreats, book reviews, and informal coffee table discussions to share research agendas and interests.
The first fruits of such endeavor are the works of President Nestor Ravilas, “Precarious Life, Justified Aggression, and Ritualized Violence: Is there a Place for “Loving Your Enemy” in a world of Violence” and “Embedded Violence: The Evangelical Violent Formation and the Rise to Power of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” both published by the Asia Journal of Theology. This 2019 there are a few articles slated for publication. One is a chapter by Juan Roberto Rances, “The Aestheticization of Violence and the Poetics of Peace,” in a book to be published by Langham. Another is a chapter co-written by Nestor Ravilas and Wilfredo Laceda on the interface of global economic order and the church: “Hospitality and Responsibility: The Church in the Age of Globalization,” under Lutheran Press. Nestor Ravilas’ “Dual Salvation in Matthew 25:31–46: A Creative Dialogue between Jesus, Emmanuel Levinas, and Judith Butler on Social Dimension of Salvation and Eschatology” and Wilfredo Laceda’s “The Politics of Justice and Desire: A Narrative Analysis of 2 Samuel 13:1–22” are also due this year.
Although these works bear the intellectual curiosities of their respective authors, there is however a running theme in most if not all of them: violence. This is particularly prescient if we consider the current state of the Philippines in the last three years. Thus, these published works are timely and contextual—both hallmarks of Penuel.