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2 Presented by Cross-Cultural Ethics In a

3 How Is Truth? “The splendor of truth shines forth in all the works of the Creator and, in a special way, in humans, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26). Truth enlightens humans’ intelligence and shapes their freedom, leading them to know and love the Lord.” Veritatis splendor

4 Sacred Texts Human Experiences Normatively Human Tradtions of the community Find the Truth in Moral Methodology : Let Every Voice Be Heard!

5 Source Content Questions What is used, and why? What is ignored, and why? What is rejected, and why? What is reinterpreted, and why? Which source(s) is (are) decisive when there is a conflict, and why?

6 Two Contrasting Scriptures The Natural Law is the same for all Romans 2:13-16 “…what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their conscience bears witness…” The Spirit speaks in our mother tongue Acts 2:5-11 “…how is that we hear, each of us, in our native languages them speaking about God’s deeds of power?”

7 Competing Moral Paradigms Only God Can Know the Whole of Reality Thus for the rest of us this knowledge is necessarily incomplete and partial, and we tend to understand complex realities according to models and paradigms Can we speak of authentic cultural paradigms for morality and ethics? Necessary Openness to Revision of All Paradigms—especially in light of new insights

8 Morality Is Necessarily Complex Recall Thomas Aquinas’ distinction between speculative and practical reason In the abstract, speculative realm truth could be universal and unchangeable, But in the concrete, practical reason rules: “in matters of action, truth or practical rectitude is not the same for all, as to matters of detail, but only as to the general principles and where there is the same rectitude in matters of detail, it is not equally known to all.” ST I-II, Q. 94, art. 4

9 What & Whose Truth? “Truth,” moral or otherwise exists always in a context In that context what we see, and how we see it, will help “shape” the truth for us Therefore, seeing broadly and diversely is part of seeing “correctly” Even the same site will truly look different depending on time & circumstance

10 The Inculturation of Truth If the Gospel is ultimately about the deepest truth of our world and ourselves And if we are called to inculturate the Gospel in every culture Then we must look at this “truth” in a variety of modes And the truth will be both the same and different at the same time

11 The Truth about Evangelization “Evangelization is to be achieved, not from without, as though by adding some decoration or applying a coat of color, but in depth, going to the very center and roots of life. The gospel must impregnate the culture and the whole way of life of men & women.” Evangelii nuntiandi, 20


13 Stages of Inculturation Translation Stage: Assimilation Stage: Adaptation Stage: Inculturation Stage: Cross-Fertilization Stage: Deus is Hanunim Hanunim is Our God Eucharist Is Chae-sa New liturgy? We are all called to filial piety

14 Cross-Fertilization of Truth If inculturation leads to new understanding of moral truth then cross-cultural ethics may help produce a broader and deeper understanding akin to the model of cross-fertilization As inculturation bears fruit in evangelization then this new fruit should be enjoyed by all


16 Pathways to Truth [?] “Experience shows that young priests who have been trained in Rome, near to the heart of the Vicar of Christ, adapt themselves even better than others, to the culture of their own countries” Msgr. Luigi Bogliolo, Rector of the Urbanianum “Two of the deepest and most fruitful prayers of Christendom [are] the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary. If nowadays we are so dangerously exposed to the attractions of Asiatic religious practices; it is surely in part because we have forgotten these prayers.” Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect CDF

17 An Alternative Path: Pilgrimage of Dialogue C.S. Song’s Stages of Conversion: The World is Different Blessed Ignorance Bi-Lateral Cease-Fire Conversion to Dialogue

18 The Challenge of Changing Our Perceptions Can We Allow for the Possibility that There Is Another Way to Look on Our Human Moral Nature?





23 Seeking Out the Truth Meeting the Challenges of Developing Cross-Cultural Ethics

24 Culture As Framework Culture as our principal mode of being human, thus the way we are truly human beings There is no such thing as a non-cultural or “a-cultural” human being Thus, to speak of “human nature” one must do so always in a cultural context

25 Theology of Culture Gaudium et spes states that humans "can achieve true and full humanity only by means of culture”[#53] Culture as our way of being is God- given, and thus essentially good For us culture can be a means by which we act as co-creators with God

26 Through Thick and Thin Culture is not easily “thinly” defined but rather requires a “thick” description Geertz’s example of a “wink” Cultural, and especially cross-cultural understanding first requires “decoding” This decoding may be partial & fallible, but this shouldn’t paralyze us

27 Fundamental Values and Root Paradigms Fundamental Values express assumptions about the world as a whole, and in particular about human nature and concomitant appropriate behavior. These values are incarnated in Root Paradigms, e.g., The Way of the Cross for Christianity

28 Ethnocentrism Culture tends to produce ethnocentrism as a way of viewing the world and especially other cultures in terms of one’s own culture. Ethnocentrism is a natural result of culture’s functioning, but poses great challenges to intercultural communication



31 Western Cultural Views “Man [sic] is the measure of all things”






37 East Asian Cultural Views T’ien-Jen-Ho-I [Heaven and the Human Become One]







44 Inter-Cultural Communication Ethnocentrism as a whole raises many difficulties Fundamental Values and Root Paradigms are usually the last things to change in a given culture Tension between conflicting root paradigms is particularly challenging

45 The Challenge of Changing Our Perceptions Can We Allow for the Possibility that There Is Another Way to Look on Our Human Moral Nature?


47 Life is Coded The Challenge of Finding the Golden Key (C.S. Song)








55 Acculturation: The Challenge of the Meeting of Cultures Acculturation refers to the encounter between member(s) of different cultures Acculturation usually results in some sort of change, which can be both benign or conflictual








63 What’s Going On Here?

64 And What’s Going On Here?

65 Korean Martyrs Beatification Rome, 1925

66 1984 Canonization, Seoul

67 Moving to the Next Stage Developing an Ear for Cross-Cultural Dialogue


69 Nuns at the Temple Well

70 Buddhist Monk & Jesuit

71 Playground Shrine to the Blessed Mother in Barangka



74 The Last Challenge Discerning, Trusting, and Collaborating with the Spirit







81 Human Face(s) of Decision on Vasectomies 32 year old Street Vendor: $5.35 a day with 7 pre-teen children Doctor with 2 teenagers



84 200 Pesos on a Good Day {56 Pesos to a Dollar}



87 Chapel Decorations Complete

88 Carmen shares her digital photos at Payatas

89 Norlan Julia, S.J. and the Block Rosary Group of Payatas

90 Montalban Squatters’ Relocation Barrio

91 Outdoor Shower at Montalban Barrio

92 Road to the Montalban Church



95 The Riches of Payatas







102 Mau Ulep, CMF, with friends at Liwanag Barrio




106 Prayer of St. Theresa Avila Christ has no body on earth but yours No hands on earth but your hands. Yours are the eyes through which He looks out with compassion on the world. Yours are the feet with which He chooses to go about doing good. For as He is the Head, so you are the members and we are all one in Christ Jesus.


108 Suggested Readings Robert Schreiter, The New Catholicity: Theology between the Global and the Local (1997) James Bretzke, “Cultural Particularity & the Globalization in the Light of Inculturation,” Pacifica 9 (1996): 69-86 “Moral Theology out of East Asia” Theological Studies 61 (2000); 106-121 “A New Pentecost for Moral Theology: The Challenge of Inculturation of Ethics” Josephinum (Summer/Fall2003): 250-260


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