j ot involved in various ways. In this context grew a Filipino version of liberation theology which had close affinity with Latin American theology in its emphasis on social (class) analysis and on paradigms from biblical history. Its specificity was expressed in the title 'theology of struggle'.23 This may be understood as the result of interaction with the Maoist outlook which dominated large sectors of the popular resistance movement. It demands and seeks clarity and commitment regarding politically organised struggle as the only means to achieve liberation. Struggle is seen as the primary context of theological reflection and the basic expression of Christian life. This approach tends to translate the theological conviction of God's partisan choice for the poor into the demand to make a concrete political choice, to take sides in the polarised political situation of the Philippines. The emphasis on struggle also implies a critique of traditional religion which focuses on Christ as the suffering servant who did not open his mouth and went as a lamb to its slaughter, a religion which would enhance passivity/4 Instead the cross is presented as a symbol of challenge and struggle. Edicio de la Torre, one of the priests who went underground, narrates how in prison he painted a poster presenting the crucified one with one open hand and one hand closed to a fist, whilst the blood that flows down turns into a red banner, The non-violent overthrow of the Marcos regime in 1986 in which large sections of the middle class mobilised by the Catholic church leadership were involved has created a political situation in which the Maoist-oriented left lost part of its influence and is now facing a split. This has probably reduced the appeal of the 'theology of struggle' as far as support for the armed struggle is concerned. But other aspects, such as the importance of class analysis, remain relevant, as Ed de la Torre, writing in the 1970s, shows when he asks Christians: will you be like Pharisees thanking God that you are not like others? 'We are not subject to class analysis. We are not affected by class interests. We are moved only by theology and ideas. We only need to be informed about the issues and we will immediately act in favour of the poor.'15
The continuation of mass poverty in the Philippines shows that the struggle for democratic rights is not enough, just as the change of governments through parliamentary elections in India or Sri Lanka is not enough. I he question is not only that of the use of violent or non-violent means in ihe overthrow of a repressive government. The question is how and by whom the strangling grip of global capitalism and its agents can be broken and what steps are needed to initiate a liberating transformation of society. The concern of liberation theologians in other Asian countries with questions of culture and religion has not caused them to ignore the contribution of Marxist theory, as the widespread refutation of Cardinal Rlatzinger's
Instruction on Certain Aspects of the 'Theology of Liberation* (1984) has shown. Marxism is being appreciated for its analytical focus on the reality of exploitation and alienation and for its revolutionary outlook which challenges people to take responsibility for their common life. Marx taught me, says Kappcn, *to think from below, from the heart of the fragmented, demented world around*. And this bore theological fruits in the encounter with 'the historical Jesus5/6 However, it is commonly observed that dogmatism has affected the analytical and liberative capacity of Marxism and that class analysis has to be integrated with a thorough analysis of the social divisions caused by discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, caste, sex and religion. The late Lakshman Wickrcmcsinghc, an Anglican bishop, who with the late Catholic bishop Leo was one of the inspiring promotors of liberative involvements in Sri Lanka, favoured an 'indigenous Marxian socialism1, which would be 'influenced by rather than dominated by Marxism* and would relate not only to the economically poor, but also to ethnic minorities, women, unemployed youth, the disabled, the 'tourism-debased', in short to all who are deprived, made submissive or alienated. This would be in accordance with the image of Jesus as 'prophetic contestant and martyr', which should, however, be kept in dialectical tension with the images of Jesus as companion and rehabilitator of sinners and outcastes and as the 'self-sacrificing satyagrahi' who converts enemies with the soul-force of vicarious suffering love.27
Kim Yong Bock introduces the distinction between messianic politics and political messianism in order to distance the liberation struggles of the Minjung from Maoism and North Korean communism.18 Political messianism is the negation of the historical subjectivity of the Minjung, The North Korean notion of juche refers to the autonomy not of the people but of the national totalitarian dictatorship in the name of the proletariat, 'It is a sort of "realized" subjecthood in the form of a dictatorial state'. But the Minjung, which transcends the narrow, self-contained entity of the proletariat, realises its subjectivity while suffering and struggling in the unfolding drama of history between the times of the 'not yet' and the 'already*. The politics of Jesus - and of other messianic traditions in Korea - does not make the Minjung an object of messianic claims but the subject of their own historical destiny, struggling for justice, koinomia and shalom to come. White presenting this critique of totalitarianism Kim Yong Bock avoids the trap of Western anti-communism by arguing that Japanese ultranationalism in the time of Japanese rule and modern technocracy at present are other manifestations of political messianism. It may be added that critical Marxist tendencies would find themselves in agreement with many of Kim Yong Bock*s points,
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