Culture and Religion

8004 Words Dec 6th, 2008 33 Pages
CULTURE AND RELIGION

The only way in which Christianity and other religions exist is in concrete, definite cultural environment. We receive, live, express and transmit our faith through culture. Culture is a reality which is difficult to define because it covers everything in human life. We can look at culture as the worldview guiding our lives. Such a worldview gradually developed from millions of agreement among members of our society through the long period of time. Our leaders have taken it upon themselves to make us aware of the standards of judgment and of conduct, which have to guide us in relating with other people. Together with other members, they have conditioned us in many ways, mostly unconscious, to accept as
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Filipino popular Catholicism contributes to the making of better Christians because it reappropriates, indigenizes, Filipinizes, and, therefore, liberates both the Christian message and culture.

Christianity makes us better Filipinos because it improves what is good in our culture. It invites us to eliminate from our culture those elements that are un-Christian and inhuman. It enables us to open our culture to an ongoing discernment. This is specifically true in terms of values that we have turned into “idols” because in the course of time, we have absolutized them. All too often, we may have promoted and insisted on death-dealing practices rather than life-giving expressions of values. For example, our misuse and abuse of pakikisama have made us insist on our friends joining us for a party before a major examination, pitching in their week’s allowance for a drinking spree or sharing their answers during a quiz.

Since the essence of Christianity is life-giving and love-sharing, it takes the challenge of inculturation. To despise, ignore, or destroy culture is to violate its essence.

ACTIVITY:

1. Give an element in your culture that has been included in the ritual of your Church. How do you find these indigenous cultural elements being included in your Church’s practices? 2. State three elements in your culture that are life-giving and can enrich the Christian faith and worship. State life-giving values we have in the
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