The Theology and Ministry Program of the School of Humanities invites you to the online oral defense of the PhD Dissertation entitled “USING THE NORMATIVITY OF THE FUTURE APPROACH IN THE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE IN TEACHING CHRISTIAN MORALITY” by EDWIN B. ODULIO on April 29, 2022 (Friday), 1:30 pm. The Board of Examiners is composed of Ma. Maricel Ibita, Ph.D., S.Th.D. (Second Reader/Principal Examiner), Anatoly Angelo Aseneta, Ph.D., Fr. Abundio Babor, Jr., M.S.C., S.T.D., and Markus Locker, Ph.D. The Dissertation Adviser is Ma. Lucia Natividad, Ph.D. The defense is being held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Theology with concentration in Religious Education. It is open to the public.
Abstract: The present Catholic Filipino youth are eager to do good by helping the needy and participating in actions that care for people and the rest of creation. They look for guidance to know what they must do to witness their faith, especially amidst their communities’ current social and environmental issues. An important response to this concern is to point to the Sacred Scripture where they can discover and understand God’s summons for them to be just and loving.
Religious education in the Philippines uses and interprets Scripture to teach the young about the Christian faith. Christian morality, a subject in the religious education curriculum of Catholic high schools in the country, presents the Scripture as a (1) story to begin a lesson, (2) source for learning the faith and life of biblical communities, and (3) basis for the church moral teachings. This research work explores a contemporary biblical interpretative approach, the Normativity of the Future, to help enrich the way Scripture is used and interpreted.
The normativity of the future is a way of understanding Scripture that focuses on the ability of the sacred texts to project God’s dream for the world, put before people the vision of this alternative world, and provide the motivation and inspiration for them to get involved. God’s vision can be discovered by imagining the just and inclusive world that God discloses in Jesus’s words and deeds and continues to reveal through the inspired and symbolic words of the sacred texts. God’s vision encourages and guides the Christian moral life of Filipino high school students by orienting them to pursue the flourishing and well-being of all, human and non-human creations, in the present and future generations, without discrimination to gender, race, class, health status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and religion.
Taking into account the developments in the use and interpretation of Scripture in moral theology, the nature and purpose of Scripture, the teaching of the Christian morality in religious education, and the experiences of the contemporary young Filipino students, this research work offers practical steps and principles using the Normativity of the Future in interpreting the Scripture in teaching Christian morality in religious education in the Philippines.