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De Mesa, Jose M., Ph. D.: Home


Dr. Jose De Mesa

Scope Note

      Accessible on the net, this webliography consists of selected papers and articles written by Dr. Jose M. de Mesa. 

     Dr. Jose M. de Mesa was born in Manila, Philippines in 1946. After finishing his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, he took up basic theological studies in Manila. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies (1978), specializing in Systematic Theology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Dr. de Mesa has also done post-doctoral studies at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. This lay theologian is a professor of Applied Systematic Theology and a University Fellow at De La Salle University. He is also a visiting professor at the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI). Dr. De Mesa sits as a member of the Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs based in Leuyen, Belgium and of the Concilium Advisory Board for Liturgy and Sacraments based in Nigmegen, Holland. Dr. De Mesa's main interest is in the broad field of Systematic Theology. He has lectured widely on this subject in the Philippines and abroad. Dr. De Mesa's various publications, consultations, and lectures on Philippine inculturation has earned him the �Gawad Nishigaki Pagkilala� in August 1991. Gawad Nishigaki Pagkilala is a national award given by the Philippine Government's Commission on the Development of Languages to Filipino citizens who have contributed significantly to the enrichment of the Filipino language. It was the first time the annual award was given to one working in the field of theology.


Internet Sites

"Let The Little Children Come To Me": A Theological And Historical-Cultural Review Of The Catholic Practice Of Children�s First Communion
[Retrieved January 21, 2009]

This article presents the theological and historical-cultural review of children's first communion. The author noted that because of historical and cultural factors, two important convictions of the Judaeo-Christian tradition which were very much alive in the early Church: the primacy of God's unconditional, gracious and inclusive love towards all as embodied in the person and life of Jesus were neglected. He explained that the basis for the present practice concerning children's communion was mainly forged out of historical and cultural, rather than strictly theological considerations.

Making Salvation Concrete and Jesus Real Trends in Asian Christology
[Retrieved January 15, 2009]

This is an article which discusses trends in Asia related to Christology and the cultural approach to doing Christology. The author shared the facilitating of "the Doing of Christology" in a cultural context and an example of "Doing Christology in a cultural context".

The Mysterion Which Is Marriage: A Vision For The Marital Life
[Retrieved January 29, 2009]

In this article, the author explains that "to understand marriage as a mysterion is to understand the Kingdom as God's unconditional and abiding love of people active in and through their ordinary human experiences. It is what gives the marital life its quality of being mysterion. This reiterates in the context of married life the basic conviction of Christianity that God initiates and continues faithfully a life-giving relationship with us in history. This is what gives foundation and sustaining power to love "as Jesus had loved us." As John had put it in his letter, "We love because he first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). In marital love after the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom is experienced and revealed."

"Pandaraya" As Sin: A Contextual Interpretation
[Retrieved January 21, 2009]

"The aim of this contextual interpretation of "sin" is, first of all, historical relevance. Rather than a general re-presentation of kasalanan in indigenous categories, it opted for a more historically connected attempt to understand what "sin" may mean today when pandaraya is a major social concern which affects the poor and the powerless most acutely. Secondly, the attempt wanted to ensure cultural intelligibility as much as possible. Since the usual general term for "sin," kasalanan, lacks specificity, it does not necessarily denote or connote what is evil and intent of evildoing, which "sin" is. Daya, however, does. It is a culturally perceived evil deed not only in personal dealings but also in social interactions and it is presumed intentional. Thirdly, this reflection on "sin" also contemplated theological responsiveness. Rather than have a broad and unspecific treatment of "sin" customary in the theology which regarded itself as theologia perennis, the theology of "sin" explored here focused precisely on the correlation of daya and "sin," or more accurately, daya as "sin." It is a theology which tries to answer the questions arising from the issue of pandaraya in the present-day Philippine context. It is worth noting that the "trigger" for this discussion of sin is the seriousness of pandaraya as a social phenomenon particularly in the use of public funds intended for the common good but diverted to private interests. But he pointed out that pandaraya is not only "horizontally spread" in society because it is rampant but it is also "vertically inserted" within the very loob of persons, affecting the very personhood of people."

Pastoral Agents And �Doing Christology�: An Attempt At Empowerment
[Retrieved January 29, 2009]

This module on "Doing Christology" is an integral component of the course, "Foundation for Pastoral Renewal". The author's approach consisted of three significant changes which have been going on in the church for some time and which have immediate links to the doing of Christology - from ecclesiology to Christology, from a classical to an empirical understanding of culture and from being informed about Christologies to learning the "doing of Christology."

Re-Thinking the Faith with Indigenous Categories
[Retrieved January 29, 2009]

"The author takes an important step beyond the general critique against doing theology with western categories to show how indigenous Filipino categories contain a wealth of untapped possibilities for creative reflection and "re-rooting."