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"Eschatology in the Parable of the Prodigal Son and Other Essays"

Arnel Ong, S.J. (Philippines)

Master of Arts in Theological Studies
Adviser: Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D.


This capstone project consists of four research papers in the fields of systematic and biblical theology, and pastoral psychology and counseling. The first essay discusses eschatology in a pastoral way in the setting of the apostolate using Jesus’ well-loved parable of the prodigal son. It highlights the relationship of the father, elder son and younger son in parallel with the story of creation, sin and eschatology. The second essay compares and critiques John Hick’s Philosophy of Religion and Paul Knitter’s Theology of Religion in the context of the plurality of religions. Both writers believe that God wills salvation for humanity. The way to salvation, however, has many paths and Christianity is just one of them. This assertion questions the role of Jesus Christ in salvation. The third essay asserts that John 21:1-14 is more than a mere experience of recognition by the disciples. Rather, it is an anamnesis, a remembering which, for the Johannine community, characterizes discipleship. The fourth essay explores the boundaries of self-love and narcissism. Highlighting the psycho-spiritual dimensions characteristic of pastoral counseling, this essay studies the patterns, criteria and dangers of a narcissistic personality disorder and factors in the grace of God and the human person’s capacity for transcendence towards authentic psycho-spiritual healing.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: June 9, 2015

Board of Examiners: Fr. Renato Repole, S.J., S.T.D. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Fernando Macalinao, S.J., S.T.D. and Fr. Arnel Aquino,S.J., S.T.D.

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology