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Two of the ten missionaries were killed, one was converted to the Tongans, and the rest left the island to save their lives. John Thomas and John Hutchinson, four years later, made a gradual progression with the help of the rescue team, Nathaniel Turner and his group, in Fatu and Ata were most influential chiefly figures in opposition to the mission. They related to mission in different times and places, but their agenda played the same purpose as of Tui Cakau of 35 Paul F.

A number of Tongan theologians immune not from this situation. It includes Jione Havea Jr. See G. Lewin Williams is referring to this in term of a "backlash". Robert Schreiter is using the terms "cultural logics" to refer to the same thing.

See Williams, Caribbean Theology, 6. See also Schreiter, The New Catholicity. In the case of Tonga the resisting remarks such as Your religion is good for you; my religion is good for me 43, for example, could have not been ignored by the forebears of Christianity. In the mission abroad, Winwood Reade in the mid nineteenth century had warned that the missionary enterprise is a wretched bubble and the British Christianity can never flourish on a savage land.

Robert Schreiter is describing the process of globalization and how it encounters a relatively integrated concept of culture like what is found more or less in Tonga. This cultural recession results in several forms of ideological resistance, namely antiglobalism, ethnicism, and privitivism. Thus a global-local glocal context is built 46 where historical eras the pre-modern, modern, and the postmodern do exist in the same time and place. Schreiter understands that there is no meaning outside this new context.

The Christian mission to Tonga was not an exception. It faced real hostilities from people, particularly those with traditional privileges, who did not want new religion to overturn their status in the old religion. Here we have a 19 th century equivalent of Schreiter s global flow, the effects of which continue to this day.

The contemporary setting is not as straightforward. There are aspects of Tongan life and culture which go back before the coming of the missionaries and which likewise continue to this day. Something of the old overlaps with the new and eventually becomes part of what is new.

The existence of cultural hostilities in the cause of mission in Tonga should narrow the chance of any claim that Tonga had been fully converted. It is perhaps possible to say that the Western Christian mission was successful only to construct a theology neither of western nor of Tongan but somehow a mixture of the two. Niumeitolu describes these interests as twin underlying aims of gaining benefits while simultaneously maintaining their supremacy. Thomas once admitted to this situation saying, after reflecting upon a group of people in deep and emotional singing and praying, I wish that these people do this with the same experience I do have.

The context is still more complex than this. Schreiter s theory of glocalization is based on a distinction between a traditional and a globalized concept of culture. The traditional concept is based on an integrated sense of being born into a culture where the lines of authority, expectations and cultural assumptions are acquired through birth. The comparison can be made with the globalized understanding where identity is less clear and needs to be invented and imagined into being.

This globalized concept of culture is experienced more obviously by those Tongans who are living in diaspora but the home island culture is not immune from its effects. Tonga is exposed to the global flows Schreiter identifies of travel, the compression of time and place through communication and the emergence of ideologies like democracy, human rights, feminism, environmental care which now circulate the globe. Theology in Tonga today needs to be done in this kind of context.

There is a matrix of religious dynamics involved in the contemporary culture of Tonga. This includes the missionaries legacy and practices and how they have been appropriated and adapted by the receiving Tongan culture. All these things are embodied in the life of a contemporary Tongan theologian. For that reason, my second chapter follows the lead of the diasporic authors like Jung Young Lee and is autobiographical.

It is designed to identify these tensions within the personal life and on the assumption that this autobiographical witness can sound an echo in the life of others. The task is demanding. The tendency of most Tongan scholars is to focus on biblical studies and may be hermeneutics. The place of theology itself is less developed and well understood. One of the tasks of this thesis is to understand why this is so and make a case for its practice inside the tensions identified.

At another level the task is methodological. Like Williams intention, the common purpose of doing contextual theology carries with it the desire to disengage from the missionary legacy. This is evident in many works on theology to do with liberation, feminist, and ecological theology. The emphasis is to liberate theology from its European vestments and to do away with the ideological nature of the gospel one that often legitimizes poverty and slavery.

This spirit of liberation is quite pervasive. James Cone, from Black Theology, follows Malcolm X in declaring that the missionaries taught a white man s religion. Choan-Seng Song and Peter Phan are among a spectrum of Asian theologians who seek liberation in their theology by pointing their fingers at the missionary legacy.

For the sake of this exploration I wish to begin with some reference to mission. I wish to make a play upon three words: miss-given, miss-taken, and miss-placed. The spelling mistakes are obvious. They are deliberate. The prefix miss with the extra s encourages the tendency to talk about mission and consider the range of models to do with the interaction of cultures in the ongoing process of mission.

What is missed in the work of mission across cultures? That little word miss also points towards a hermeneutical problem. The idea is obvious. All communication is interpretation. The Christian faith is not immune from this temptation and consequent practice. Schreiter has rightly observed how The Gospel never comes to a culture in pure form; it is embedded in the less than pure culture of the speaker Schreiter, The New Catholicity. The conversation is never entirely monological even, if and when, there are imbalances of power, respect and esteem.

While the speaker concentrates on sustaining his or her integrity, the hearer, on the other side, tries to identify the message with his or her own situation. The miss-given describes how the missionaries theology was customized by their European cultural perceptions and how inappropriate that was for the Tongan people. For the purposes of this thesis I am drawing upon the work of a number of postcolonial, indigenous and liberation theologians.

Their common concern is the failure on the part of the missionaries theology to mediate the saving nature of the gospel to the receiving culture in a way that was mindful of how culture can compromise the proclamation of the gospel. It is a most complex task, of course. The incarnational nature of the gospel means that it must bear the marks of the missionaries personality and culture. There is no proclamation without human agency.

Yet it is here where the problem is to be located. While the gospel talks about the saving and redemptive act of God in Jesus Christ, the structure that preaches the gospel can so easily become oppressive and exploitative. The gospel thus becomes meaningless as salvation means no more than a well without water or a treasury without money.

For the sake of this thesis the idea of missing the mark was suggested by the work of the Black 52 Ibid. See Hugh H. His book We Have Been Believers is designed to be a coherent, well put-together systematic theology from the perspective of his people. The cultural context is one of slavery, liberation and the experience of racism. The theological vocation is to look at each item on the systematic agenda in the light of this particular cultural experience. From this vantage point Evans talks about the ungiven God.

Evans is well aware of how what would become the slave culture brought with it from Africa to America tribal religious understandings. They were not a people without beliefs and convictions and religious practices. Evans is also well aware that this culture received news of the Christian gospel through exposure to missionaries and, more importantly, a white slave-owning culture. The point has been well made by Elizabeth Johnson: the way in which we describe and use the symbol of God functions.

It is never neutral. It can oppress and liberate. It is hard to imagine, then, why the gospel might take root in the experience of such a hard pressed culture. What kind of God was discerned and cherished and which had otherwise been tampered with the imposition upon of the white culture? How does God survive cultural manipulation? How can God speak into a context when the saving and redemptive nature of God has been ungiven?

The situation facing the Tongan reception of the gospel is not the same as that which Evans describes. However, the ambiguous performance of missionaries in any hosting culture is a constant. So, what Evans calls a deliberate ungiven can be looked upon in the Tongan context as an accidental miss-given.

The word accidental might be seen as problematic. The English word looks back to a Latin root which means it happened. It is seeking to describe how things occurred in the context of the time and place. Here I wish to draw upon the notion put forward by Richard Mouw with respect to a hermeneutic of charity. They were not sufficiently critical of their own culture and the role it might play in the proclamation of the gospel.

They did not imagine that there might be an alternative way 56 James H. Evans Jr. Eerdmans, There was good news in what they proclaimed, but it was good news which could come at a cost to an indigenous culture. All this talk of miss -ing means that great care must be exercised with respect to context and history. It is, nevertheless, one of the principles of a contextual theology that such a theology requires good conversation partners.

One such conversation partner is Lewin Williams, Caribbean theologian and a black descendant of uprooted African slaves. He is a Jamaican national. Speaking from his Caribbean context, Williams is not an exception in facing the challenge of the vast diversity of the Caribbean region a region that consists of more than 20 island groups, more than 30 independent nations, different religions, and flooded with African slavery in the past and with immigrants from various parts of the world in the present.

The challenge for a Caribbean theology is far-reaching. However, one thing is common, and that is the experience of displacement cultural alienation and misplacement poverty, slavery, and dependency. He is well aware of the problems and ambiguities associated with western mission to a subject people. Yet, he has no desire to do away with talk of mission. Williams is looking for a Caribbean understanding that is authentic to the experience of his people. It is a sense of mission one that honors, respects, and liberates his people in the spirit of Christ.

There is an appeal in Williams theology. He is wrestling with missionaries and with mission. He is writing out of an island context. His concern is for his people and culture and how they might lay claim to an understanding of the Christian faith which is liberating.

Williams recognizes that the gospel is not always miss-given. It can also be miss-heard and miss-taken. Placing God as judge that enslaves the local people and the poor is an example. According to Williams one of the issues of Caribbean theology lies in its task of isolating its perspectives from the general perspectives of Christian theology. For the sake of this thesis, let me explain the miss-taken by means of a Tongan example. Tongan society is a recognized hierarchical society.

Its structure is arranged into three major vertical strata with the king at the top, the chiefs in the middle and at 59 Williams, Caribbean Theology. Within this vertical structure there are cultural tools which are at work to support this hierarchy. These tools include different languages used at each respective stratum, a number of taboos for each respective class, and different places and spaces to be occupied by respective each on any occasion held in the society. This social, if not political, structure continues to exist even within a society in which the gospel of equality is confidently proclaimed and confessed.

The church, particularly those in the Wesleyan tradition, is struggling with a number of accusations regarding its task of upholding this vertical premise. Annually, the royal consent is sought in regard to the president elected by the church s annual conference before the king, alone, can open every session of the conference.

In addition, in the occasional and normal services of worship, the place of the king and his family in prayers is always mentioned before anyone else, including the minister. The poor, the outcast, and the marginalized may be forgotten, but this omission of the King can never be imagined.

This is a practice of religion and it is far from being patriarchal. The place of women in this practice is also often neglected. The fact that there are capable female ministers in the FWC ministry today does not mean that the system in the church has been prepared in such a way to see a woman in its presidential position. It can now be argued that the good news has at times missed the mark.

One way into this claim is to draw upon the work of the Indian American theologian, George E. There is some benefit in allowing Tinker to be a conversation partner. Tinker does not ignore the traditions of his people. In doing theology there is need to recognize what can be offered by the local culture. Writing out of an indigenous point of view Tinker makes use of cultural practices and perspectives to inform his understanding of core Christian doctrines.

His view of God in the light of his indigenous god Wakonda allows him to see the basic systematic agenda of theology in a little different form from its classical, western expression. Tinker and other Native American theologians would also want to include land as a theological category. This focus on space can refer to land as well as cultural relationships. It can invite us to consider how the gospel has informed places and spaces.

The situation is theologically demanding. The idea of God in Tonga is problematic. One way of expressing this problem in the Tongan situation is to say God is miss-placed. The Christian God seems to have been placed between the lines of missionaries theology and the Tongan tala otua or talatupu a divine mythology. This theistic belief supports the mystical power of the Tu i Tonga which in turn becomes the underpinning foundation of the socio-religious structure of the ancient Tongan society.

Following Schreiter, though, the situation is more complex. The global flows Ernst and others have identified in their Winds of Change turns attention to how faith and Christian belief is placed in traditional cultures encountering a postmodern world. How is tala otua likewise responding to these flows is a critical concern for this thesis. Theological Entry Point The point of entry for the more constructive side of theology in this thesis is via a doctrine of God.

Christian theology is always an enquiry into the mysterious reality of God. God is a mystery. God s mystery represents his transcendence and otherness. That God is a mystery does not mean that he is a problem. Gabriel Marcel explains that God s mystery means inexhaustible and cannot be solved in contrast to a problem. I Chicago: Henry Regnery, ,. The task of Christian theology is to see that the mystery of God is not exploited to support a particular interest or agenda. Writing in his Faith Seeking Understanding Daniel Migliore has described the mystery of God in the light of what he calls the peculiar logic of God.

How do we talk of God-self and God s relationship to creation? How is transcendence and immanence to be held in tension? What kind of attributes should be assigned to our talk of God? The Christian doctrine of God is also facing the dilemma of how to proceed upon this general theological task and also be mindful of cultural context. Talking of God, for Migliore, is not merely doctrinal general and indefinite but also contextual concrete and specific.

There should be a mutual criticality between the biblical teachings and personal experience. There are two main reasons why I have selected the doctrine of God. The first has to do with all theology being about God anyway. That is what the word theology means. The second reason is more cultural. The Christian symbol of God has been taken by the Tongans to be the equivalent of the concept otua.

Here I am standing in a similar space as Tinker whose understanding of God is explored in conversation with the traditional deity, Wakonda. The Spirit was there but not at the New Testament understanding of it at the Pentecost. This term is an invention.

It is designed to do theology but in a way in which some Tongan cultural ideas, relationships and practices inform the task of describing a doctrine of God. It is a cultural reflection that calls into question the generally accepted interplay between gospel and culture in Tonga. It aspires after the coherent expression of God based on a people s haunting 66 Daniel L. Michigan: Eerdmans, , 64ff. Ivens, " The primary intention of this construction is to impose awareness upon the cultural hybridity that is involved in the task of doing theology in Tonga.

This otualogy is an enquiry upon a community experience sold short by both a miss-given and a miss-taken God. Its task is to unveil the cultural impositions involved in both the act of conveying and the act of receiving the Christian faith in Tonga, and to enquire upon a concept of God based on the experience of a miss-placed God.

The particular aspect of Migliore s peculiar logic which will be in conversation with this otualogy is a reading of the Trinity. Such a line of inquiry is not unusual. Vaai has done the same from a Samoan background; Siu Vaifale is working in this territory. This particular thesis will move towards a perichoretic understanding of otualogy. Stepping Stones It will be evident that the task before us is a complex one. It is not quite like the more usual way of doing theology.

Under the circumstances it is useful to set out a number of stepping stones along the way. One option here is to list now rather than later the content and headings of each chapter in order to demonstrate the flow of the thesis. Chapter One: The Necessity of an Otualogy The purpose of this chapter is to make the case for an otualogy.

This term is a hybrid word taken from the Tongan word for the God who is sacred other, otua, and the Greek logos representing talk or study. The word is a neologism and designed to stand in a critical tension with the more conventional theology. The necessity of an otualogy calls into question some aspects of the theological framework out of which the 71 See Upolu L. See Daniel F. Gregory of Nazianzuz used this term to describe the co-inherent relationship between life and death and Jesus divinity and humanity.

It suggests that there is a place for weaving into an understanding of God some insights from a Tongan religious worldview. Chapter Two: Locating the Theologian This chapter describes the cultural and personal context upon which this theology is constructed. It is more an autobiographical story-telling with references to the contemporary situation of the writer and Tonga.

The necessity of this kind of exercise is due to the discipline of theology having a low profile in Tonga. The more usual practice is to concentrate on history and biblical hermeneutics. This autobiographical approach is consistent with the subjective turn to be found in post-colonial and diasporic theologies. The necessity of an otualogy has its origins in paying close attention to the location of the theologian and, in this instance, from the perspective of a tu a commoner or outsider.

This social group of people makes up the majority of the population of Tonga it is the lowest most neglected group of people in the Tongan hierarchy. As part of this group my perspective is very much situated by my tu a identity. The autobiographical nature of this section will be balanced by a reading of a location and concern of other Tongan theologians.

Chapter Three: The Miss-Given God One part of the theological task is to consider what kind of God was handed on by the nineteenth century missionaries. Their understandings would become foundational for subsequent patterns of believing. Of particular help here is the work of Lewin Williams on Caribbean theologies. One of the effects of this tendency is the possibility of the proclamation of a compromised understanding of God. Some aspects of the Christian doctrine of God are underplayed.

James Evans writes of the ungiven God. Here a preference is given to the wording of a miss-given God. This chapter aims at placing the missionaries theology against the peculiar logic of contemporary theological practice. It focuses less on the task of an historical exposition than a theological exposition of the missionaries theology. How was the gospel proclaimed by the missionaries heard and received by its primary Tongan hearers?

They were inclined to belong to the higher end of an hierarchical culture. In what ways might some cultural practices and expectations have acted like filters and enabled some patterns of belief and practice to emerge, and other key features of the gospel to be softened? What kind of God actually took root? In order to answer these kinds of questions it will be necessary to consider how the doctrine of God is usually constructed in terms of the very shape of the doctrine itself.

For the Tongan otualogist the issue is one of place. The hierarchical nature of culture has often been reinforced by missionary understandings of God and the Christian faith. There has been little attention given in prayers and hymns to the God, who in Jesus Christ, drew alongside people on the margins, at the edges. What work has been done in the area has primarily been in and through the field of Christology, but the effects can also be seen in the doctrine of God.

Chapter Six: otuaological Hermeneutics It is now time to address the constructive task. This chapter aims at devising a hermeneutical method that is both cultural and biblical. It will explore how an otualogical hermeneutics is needed and how it operates inside an array of Pacific metaphors to do with vanua and moana and their respective cultural implications. Part of this task is to invent and explain different features of a number of hermeneutical tools most notably tidalectic will be explained shortly and ngaofe Tongan communal structure.

How can these hermeneutical tools be put into practice for the sake of retrieving the missing idea of God? The primary purpose of this chapter is to rethink, reexamine, and recapture what has always been there in Tonga in the doctrine of God. With the assistance of the tidalectic and ngaofe hermeneutical tools, this chapter aims at mapping what might be called the otualogical idea of God.

This idea of God will be based on the doctrine of the Trinity where the idea of God will be seen through the lens of the tu a and the tu atext. In this chapter I will embark on a new construction of the Trinity to do with the idea of the tu aunity a combination of the terms tu a and unity. The intention is not to do away with the tradition laid down by the missionaries.

The intention is to revisit and rethink the doctrine of God but in the light of a concern for the traditional Tongan understanding of the alien other, God, who is both the transcendent o-tu[ ]a and immanent tu a. The chapter then will argue that God the tu aunity is trans-immanent, trans-territorial, trans-gender, and trans-cultural. Conclusion The conclusion will raise matters to do with further enquiries on this line of approach with particular focus on how it can affect the life of the church and society at large in terms of liturgy and worship, and public response to issues such as ecological bankruptcy, economic impoverishment, and social differentiation.

The Scope of this Thesis It should now be clear that this thesis is seeking to break new ground. There have been no previous attempts to work on an otualogy. At the best of times it is not self-evident how a doctrine of God should be explored in the light of an Oceanic context. The common practice has been simply to engage with the practice of western theologians. That feature of the task remains important.

But it needs to be set inside the claims of an otualogy which presupposes close attention also being given to a local culture. There will be a need for the theology to be interdisciplinary. It will require the insights of history, anthropology, geography and sociology as well. This scope also defines the limitations of this thesis. Historically, the research will confine itself to what the historians in Tonga call the formative period.

The era stretches from to It includes the influential mission, both Wesleyan and Roman Catholics, which shaped the image of God. It also includes significant local This part of the context must also be set alongside the contemporary context. In terms of place that theological setting is Tonga. In today s world it is the site of a traditional culture coming to learn with the effects of globalization and diaspora. It is becoming hybridized. In terms of a theological agenda the contextual imperative is to engage with the tu a community.

For the sake of an otualogy the imperative is to do a constructive theology. It must involve imaginative analysis and interdisciplinary studies within a postcolonial framework. The emphasis is contextual and the theological point of entry is the doctrine of God in general and the Trinity in particular. The necessary practice is to think of God as drifting, out of place, and displaced.

Here the Caribbean tool of tidalectic is very appealing. This islandic tool is the invention of a Caribbean poet and writer namely Kamau Brathwaite. It is a word construction. It is made up of two different words, tide and dialectic. The former represents Brathwaite s island experience.

It is one that is construed by the movement of the ocean tides. The latter stands for the way how this island experience works its way into Brathwaite s ideas of life and reality. It is fluid, conversational, and interrelated or tidal dialectic. An otualogist will function within a more communal structure.

With this tidalectic tool this thesis aims at working on the concept of God in a curve model. In Tongan it is ngaofe curve. It symbolizes the nature of the Tongan culture. Here culture refers not only to what we see and touch but also to the frame of mind that drives the Tongan people in their life.

Why it is the Trinity? It is because God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or the one in three persons God is a community and interrelate by nature of a curve. Catherine M. Rebirthing of the idea of God in Tonga is parallel to Thomas Wolf understanding of the world. In one of his famous verses, Wolf describes the world as one where no one fails to know each other, even a brother or a father s heart.

In some senses, Wolf views the world as one not yet born out of the womb of the mother. He writes, Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb We did not know our mother's face; From the prison of her flesh have we come Into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison Of this earth Enquiring into otualogy There is now a need to clarify some terms.

One such is otualogy. Defining this term needs two tasks. One is etymological and the other is historical. Etymologically otualogy is a construction comprising two words otua god and logos. It represents two languages Tongan local and Greek Western or foreign.

The word otua replaces the term theo[s] in the same manner that the word Christ replaces theo in the word Christology. If Christology means something like the logos of Christos 81, otualogy means something like the logos of the otua. There is a difference between Christology and otualogy. While both Christos and logos belongs to a single culture in Christology, there are two different cultures in otualogy Tongan and Greek. John S. I am convinced by one of his reasons for this employment.

He writes It is also a clue to so-called white people? It is out of place and is in a state of drifting. It is breaking precedence. Logos is Greek. They symbolize difference and distance. One way to express this is to say that otua is islandic Tongan , small, un-capitalized, and italicized whereas the word logos symbolizes continental, high, great, and bold.

However, otua and logos are similar in their deepest sense. They are symbols of power. They represent the deepest symbols in their respective cultures. Edward Farley defines deep symbols as the enduring symbols that shape the values of a society and guide the life of faith, morality, and action. They include terms like tradition, reality, obligation or duty, law, and hope for the sake of naming some. In every culture, these deepest symbols carry a double price.

They are the most powerful and the most vulnerable symbols of all symbols. Like otua and logos, they command good and evil, right and wrong. According to Farley, deep symbols are powerful because they are rooted in the historical experience of humanity. They are most vulnerable because they are bound to both the changing situation and the particularity of human experience.

For an otualogist putting them together symbolizes a task of weaving together the high and the low, the great and the meek, the marginalized and the marginalizer. The neologism appeals because of how it embraces the incarnated nature of God where the divine and human become united in the body and life of a low rank Hebrew boy from Nazareth. In the case of otualogy the great culture of the logos is going to be manifested in the small and remote culture of Tonga.

Part of this cultural impression has to do with the word itself. It has to be in that form or else it loses its meaning. It symbolizes the 82 Note that otualogy is not an anthropological study equivalent to Mariology doctrine of Mary the Holy Mother or Jesuology study about the origin and nature of Jesus of Nazareth.

Neither it is a phenomenology of the term otua. It is rather a theological reflection on the weaving nature of theology and culture, western Christian doctrine of God and the Tongan cultural understanding of God. It represents a displaced theology and neglected concept of God. One critical feature of this notion of otualogy is concerned with the task of mission. On one level the missionaries used the word otua with lower case to designate the Tongan gods.

At another level the missionaries bestowed no value of place to the Tongan religious cultures. There is then an intrinsic polemic in the idea of otualogy. It is designed to evaluate and call into question the strengths and weaknesses of the missionaries understanding of the Christian faith and the legacy of what they bequeathed. Historically, otualogy has no history. It is a new construction. Its meaning is drifting between what is local and what is traditionally Christian.

The fact that it is a constructed word should not be a problem. The history of Christianity is filled with stories of the task of inventing new words. The most obvious of them is the word Trinity. Why otualogy? One way to answer this question is to place otualogy against the term theology.

This involves a set of a priori questions. What is it in otualogy that theology does not have? How could it be that otualogy becomes more appealing than theology? On what authority can a theologian drift away from the conventions of theology? What are the motives and justifications behind such a shift?

These questions are more easily asked than answered. The common practice in Tonga is to talk about God in the way that has been laid upon us by the Bible and revelation, history and tradition, let alone by the missionaries. The term theology is a part of that reception.

It is often looked upon as the sacred tradition similar to Hugh of St. Victor s view of the Bible. It is sacred, prescriptive, immutable, and untouchable. One has to do with the question of whether the word theology can be used to describe the gods of faiths other 85 This word is an economic term.

It means to a business that is lack of fund due to a financial situation. It also refers to the task of dwarfing a financial power of a business by a more powerful enterprise. Publishers, To use it otherwise is misleading. Another aspect has to do with certain developments that are often associated with the meaning of the word itself. Bernard Lonergan, for example, has shown such developments in his theology.

He evolves from theology as studies about God to theology as knowledge of God mediated through Christ ; he finally turns to theology as reflection on religion as it is embedded in the cultural meaning and values. The thesis relies upon the necessity of otualogy. It is a form of contextual theology. It enquires into the idea of doing theology from a Tongan context. The term theology has become a common language in most cultures.

It varies from one culture to another. It is notable that in some cultures like those of Oceania different designations are often involved. Examples are talaatua Samoan , talahotua Maori , and tala otua Tongan. While these terms represent the translatability of theology, otualogy represents the capacity of theology to be transfigured and self-differentiated in a particular culture.

Its task is not merely to localize the idea of God. It also aims to keep the distance between God and the local context. It functions within the rich tradition of its logos. It means that it carries nothing but the faith explicated in the Scripture and the rich tradition of Christianity. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M.

Doran, vol. Reflection on the History of an Idea, ed. Rosalind C. It is notable that there is an element of dogmatic politics in the creed especially when it is taken back into its historical context. I am referring here to what Paul Tillich calls protective doctrines. According to Tillich, the Apostolic Creed can be realized as a dogmatic construction used by the church to stand against heretics. It is more like a statement of canon than an expression of faith.

It is more a weapon to kill rather than an instrument of peace and love. While Plato talked about theology in terms of discourse of God Aristotle relates it to the discourse of the nature of the divine or the discourse of motionless or incorporeal reality Anicius Boethius. Following the Latin writer Marcus T.

Varro s three forms of discourses, Tertullian and later by Augustine talked about theology in terms of reasoning and discussion concerning the Deity. Peter Abelard introduced into theology the term scientia and its rational inquiry. Martin Heidegger, in a very later date, invented another term namely ontotheology. The emphasis was to uphold the ontological difference between God as a Being and the beings.

It plays the same role that the Latin term Mujerista plays in Latin America. It symbolizes new agenda and new enquiries. It also signals an invitation for further reflection and enquiry to do with the doctrine of God in other contexts and cultures. The word theology has a long and reputable history. Like otualogy, it is of non- Christian origin. It derives its form and meaning from the Greek construction theoslogos, meaning talk of god.

In ancient Greek the designation often referred to the mythological narratives of the Greek deities, like Zeus, Orpheus, and Jupiter. Public Domain, The first Christians, for example, saw the word theology in the light of the task of proclaiming the truth or the Logos. Anselm saw theology as a form of inquiry upon faith. His famous dictum, fides quaerens intellectum faith seeking understanding expresses this idea. It encouraged theologians like Eusebius to think of theology as true Doctrine Latin doctrina and Greek Doxein meaning having an opinion.

It was absolute and meant not to be questioned or criticized. To some extent, theology became a task answerable to the church and the bishops. It informed not only about God. It also demonized the enemies of the church. Theology had become a weapon of faith.

Theology as an absolute task remained undisturbed until the dawn of the Enlightenment. Theology s unquestionable authority came with it the rise of scientific discoveries and philosophical skepticism of the 18 th. Descartes famous dictum cognito ergo sum I think therefore I am is evidently enough of a conviction that 97 See ibid.

I Michigan: Wm. I am subscribing to the influential work of 17 th century British positivists like John Locke and David Hume. Their common conviction of reason and truth carries with it the task to verify theology and relegate it to the margin of thinking.

It is with the approval of reason not faith that could make any proposition true. Emanuel Kant s definition of Enlightenment further set the idea of humanity in motion. Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.

Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. The benefit of making theology nearer to contextual situations validates the relevance of theology.

It offers concrete images of theology and its content. Putting theology into a cultural skin has been a role played by some of the modern theologians. Friedrich Schleiermacher s Christian Faith was a groundbreaking work in this attempt. His inclusion of human experience and religious feeling had set a considerable benchmark for a theology. With human experience, Schleiermacher discovered that theology is a human task rather than one of a divine inspiration.

But the crucial goal was to place theology closer to the experience of the time. It was also in Schleiermacher s case to address the effects of the Enlightenment and the cultural despisers of religion. This emphasis on human experience had become a new venture of theology within a world that had set the theologian to a position no more than a curator of museum of heritage.

Karl Barth s response to Schleiermacher was less optimistic. Fletcher is talking about the triumph of immanence in his introductory remark. Schleiermacher, Christian Faith, ed. Mackintosh and J. John Wallhausser Philadelphia: Fortress, , Book. Summarizing his theology, he says, My theological thinking centers and has centered in its emphasis upon the majesty of God, the eschatological character of the whole Christian message, and the preaching of the gospel in its purity as the sole task of the Christian church.

It was nevertheless a point that had provided for a new venture to do with the balance between his transcendent claim of God and Schleiermacher s less transcendent conviction. Theologians like Paul Tillich raised this question. Tillich recognized the issue of both sides and embarked on his correlation method. He argued that there is a correlation between God on high and man below.

He writes, The human situation, as interpreted in existential philosophy and the psychology and sociology related to it, posits the question; the divine revelation, as interpreted in the symbols of classical theology, gives the answer. The answer, of course, must be reinterpreted in the light of the question, as the question must be formulated in the light of the answer.

Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson have set out that history in the twentieth century. The God of the Bible is both transcendent and immanent. They argue that a balance between the two facilitates a proper relationship between theology and reason or culture.

One component of this issue has to do with how we encounter God in our theology. Wolfhart Pannenberg is right when he says There would be no further difficulties in the matter if statements about God were the only content of Christian doctrines.

Grenz and Roger E. He rationalizes that faith without practice is empty and practice without faith is blind. Migliore is right. Not every theology is a theology. In the situation where there is too much abstract and unfruitful theology, theology comes under judgment. Enquiring for a more meaningful term to designate the God talk is an ongoing task. The custom has been to believe that the term theology or theologia is sufficient. The reason was not because theologians were particularly committed to the term, but, as Tillich pointed out, because we have no better terms.

While it is true that the content of theology cannot be judged by its label, there is a tendency to say that part of the long history of theology s disinteresting place within the world of disciplines had started from its label itself. Tillich did not fully expound on this idea at his first lecture in his course The History of Christian Thought. But his general concern hinged on the idea that the term theology or doctrine had become a bad label in the face of rationalism and empiricism.

He said, This [term theology] is the theoretical formulation which comes if other theoretical people formulate the doctrine in such a way that the substance seems to be endangered by a leading group in the Church. That does not mean that we do not have equivalent or better terms in other cultures.

The rise of contextual theology with its emphasis on relevance and contextual situations carries with it the demand to do with more expressions and designations other than the term theology on its own. The translational nature of theology, described by Stephen Bevans in his Models of Contextual Theology, means that all theology is bound to be changed and dependent on every particular culture for the sake of meaningfulness and relevance. He writes, any Ibid.

Contextual theologians like Havea and Puloka in Tonga have done a great deal with the task of translating the content of theology. There is hardly any attempt, at least in my Oceanic situation, to address the issue of contextual theology starting from its label. For the sake of otualogy the translational nature of theology should not begin without first addressing its label. What could be the cultural equivalence of the word theology in Tonga?

The question needs to be posed for a number of reasons. One has to do with that place Tonga an island nation with islands scattered over , square kilometers , sq mi of ocean in the South Pacific, and a population of no more than hundred thousand.

The culture itself has been hybridized with modern materials and values. The present imperative is not to place theology in a gone culture lest it loses its relevancy. As an island ruled by monarchical values and situated by hierarchical statuses theology could not be same as that in the Western tradition. There are a lot of tensions within the culture. The one between the eiki chief and the tu a outsider or commoner is most telling.

The eiki and tu a tension is due to an ancient social structure. The tu a community is not only defined in the light of social status. It is at its worst when it is defined in the light of economic and political achievements. The tension have become the tension between the haves and the have nots, the educated and people who received less education. It needs otualogy. The equivalent in many cultures is enabling the poor or those who have been silenced the capacity to find their voices.

The task of otualogy addresses the glocal context of Tonga. The influx of modern and global cultures has left the island of Tonga in a hybridized situation. Standards of life are not always clear as the demand of modern innovation is often held back by the demand to remain traditional and Tongan. It is also about the revealed truth of God in Tonga. The task is likely to be configured into the shape of a tidalectic relationship. It is divine and human, global and local, vertical and horizontal.

It is designed not only to provide answers but also to ask questions. It means that otualogy acknowledges its cultural limitation as well as its cultural openness. It also allows itself to be questioned. As an otualogist, I believe that doing theology from a tu a perspective signifies what Migliore calls the questionableness of theology.

The answers could be in different levels. At one level it is contextual. The term has its own history in the world that is full of both blessing and curse. From an Oceanic perspective, theology is a blessing in foreign disguise. Leslie Boseto calls it the theology of profit-making and individualism.

This division had involved wars and shedding of blood that often let the people to kill their own people. A significant part of the situation has to do with the task of mission. The term theology came to Tonga via the missionaries. It carried European notions to do with certain values like paternalism, totalitarianism, and anti-culturalism. It also came with power.

In the name of God theology institutionalized government, schools, constitution. It established laws and order; it brought new waves of meaning and understanding which often set themselves against everything that was Tongan. This transforming task included clothes, food, houses, arts and dances, and of course god. Things like foreign diseases and illnesses were part of the package.

Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding, Ibid. Significant to such a theology is its incarnational nature. This nature is drawn from the incarnational nature of God. Contextual theology implies incarnational theology. It starts from the point where God became human in the life and person of Jesus Christ.

This incarnational theology means that all theology should start by manifesting itself in human culture. In the case of Tonga, theology must become an otualogy. It must realize itself in the culture and context of Tonga. Self-differentiation is a form of self humiliation. It is becoming something other than itself.

God s self humiliation in Jesus, however, bears the sense of caring for and compassionate with the situation of the Tongan people, particularly the tu a community. A theology that fails to endure selfdifferentiation could result in either becoming oppressive and meaningless or losing its power to what Paul Fletcher calls the deluge of endings.

The task has no intention to discredit the right of other cultures to use the term theology in pursuing enquiries on Christian. Instead, it attempts to follow a new path in pursuing Christian faith in the Tongan context. It marks the consummation of its particular track of development in the history of Christianity in Tonga. Boot Scraper Devil In God's Country Blood Junkie Vigil Ruin [demo] [Reissue bonus] As The Palaces Burn [demo] [Reissue bonus] Blood Junkie [demo] [Reissue bonus] Review Lyrics Ashes Of The Wake Disc I Laid To Rest Hourglass The Faded Line Omerta Blood Of The Scribe One Gun Break You What I've Become Remorse Is For The Dead Bloodletting Black Label [live] Laid To Rest [demo] Reviews 2 Lyrics Pure American Metal [EP] Laid To Rest [pre-production demo].

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