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HIMIG UGNAYAN: Official Theological Journal of the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies

The Research Program participates in upholding the Vision-Mission of the Institute by creating opportunities for acquiring adeptness in writing and doing research among Faculty Members, Students, Staff, and Alumni.   One of the ways by which this is facilitated is through the publication of articles or papers of IFRS’ Faculty Members, M.A. Students, Alumni, and other personnel in the Institute’s theological journal, Himig Ugnayan

Himig Ugnayan, the name or title of the official theological journal of the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies (IFRS), is composed of two Pilipino words which are roughly translated as voice (himig) and link, connection, or relationship (ugnayan).  It was started in 1999 in collaboration with the Inter-Congregational Theological Center (ICTC).  The name Himig Ugnayan signifies a “common search for harmony within the different strains of voices of our life and faith, of women and men, of theologians and pastoral workers, of the poor and oppressed, of the indigenous and the lowlanders, of Christians and peoples of other faiths, and of Filipino and non-Filipino as we face the present realities in the world...”  (Cf. Letter sent to religious congregations announcing the inaugural issue of the journal, signed by Sr. Lourdes Calleja, OCarm/Director and Sr. Niceta M. Vargas, OSA/Academic Dean, dated January 4, 1999).

At present, the journal is published annually and is released or distributed in the month of June.  The journal usually contains articles written and contributed by IFRS’ Faculty Members and papers of MA students that are recommended by the professors for publication.  Papers presented during the Faculty Lecture Series are also published in the journal, as well as lectures or presentations by guest professors or resource persons.  At times, the journal has a supplement that is often a shorter version of a Masteral thesis.  

Himig ugnayan

Altarejos, Marina James Duffy, and Philip McShane, eds.  Himig Ugnayan, Vol. 16: “Reshaping Christian Openness.” Quezon City, Philippines: Institute of Formation and Religious Studies, 2016.

Volume 16, “Reshaping Christian Openness,” is a special edition Festschrift honoring Brendan Lovett, MSSC.  In 1993, after his post-doctoral studies at the Lonergan Institute of Boston College, Fr. Lovett came to teach at the IFRS.  Since then, he has been disseminating the work of Bernard Lonergan through his teaching.  The reshaping of Christian openness has been an important part of his life-work for fifty years, especially as a missionary in Asia.

It contains the following articles:

McKenna, Megan. “RED, GREEN and WHITE and BLACK AND BLUE: Martyrdom in the Theologies of Brendan Lovett, Ignacio Ellacuria and Jon Sobrino.”

This essay introduces Brendan Lovett through his writings and in the reality of his white martyrdom.  McKenna presents a dense consideration of his theology, together with the theologies of Ignacio Ellacuria and Jon Sobrino.  She begins with the story of an early exiled Irish monk, which sets the stage for much of the writing of Brendan Lovett, an Irish missionary in the community of St. Columban.

McShane, Philip. “For the Joy Set Before Us of Effective Field-fostering Reviewing.”

This essay pushes forward functional collaboration, a project which McShane and Brendan Lovett share.  McShane offers a meaning of reviewing which, when taken seriously, leads to effective work in research as a functional specialty.  This is a matter of focusing on whatever is at hand—a book, a local crisis—to find problems and insights that make one exclaim, “This is worth recycling.”

Lawrence, Frederick. “Elements of Historical Praxis.”

This essay presents a restructuring of politics in theory and practice.  It also gives a picture of the struggle towards authentic political involvement and the need, in the characters of authentic political involvement, for the conversions identified by Lonergan.   

Walsh, Mark. “The Testing of Jesus in Luke (4:1–3): Looking for Other Interpretations.”

This essay makes a referenced analysis of the temptation of Jesus, comprehensible in the richness of two axes: the Christological and the anthropological.  Walsh's reflection relates to Fr. Lovett’s many years of teaching Christology and resonates with Lovett’s broad aim of meshing Christianity with realities of global cultures.

Ronquillo, CSSR, Carlos. “Missiology of the New Evangelization.”

This essay spells out the different varieties and new possibilities of evangelization in a manner that brings out the complexity of the new pastoral effort and the problem of its local effectiveness.  In the conclusion Fr. Ronquillo quotes Pope Francis, “I see the church as a field hospital after battle,” and adds his own compact comment, “the church has to understand her missionary role not as winning an argument but offering something beautiful.”

Graham, MM, Helen. “Influence of the Bible on Women in the Philippines.”

In a wealth of anecdotal pointers from four decades of work, ranging from contact with simple women who meet “Mama Mary” in scripture to her students and colleagues, Sr. Helen sharpens our sense of a range of approaches to scripture.  One finds in her approach to interpreting scripture the value of local translating in both words and deeds.

Brown, Patrick. “Functional Collaboration and the Development of Method in Theology, Page 250.”

This essay focuses on the key page 250 of Method in Theology and gives a powerful nudge to begin to take seriously the task of functional collaboration that Lonergan outlined over fifty years ago.  Brown does this by focusing on the structure of dialectic collaboration, the core of the fourth functional specialty.  His venture into specifying serious dialectic work weaves a context of both challenge and hope round Fr. Lovett’s life’s-work

Duffy, James. “The Joy of Believing.”

This essay attempts to meet the challenge that Patrick Brown identifies in his contribution to the Festschrift for Fr. Lovett.  Duffy draws on dialectic to assemble and complete fifty years of Lonergan studies (1965–2015).  The assembly focuses on regional and international workshops, journals, and internet activities.Duffy contrasts a notable and inexplicable failure in the fifty-year period with the adequate concern for method expressed by Fr. Lovett.

Datu, Kobe. “Do You See Jesus in Disguise?”

In his short story, Kobe Datu, the twelve-year-old God-child of Fr. Brendan in the Philippines, reminds us that the primary Christian teaching of authentic love includes love of oneself, of one’s neighbors, of strangers, and of those who we consider as enemies.