Virginia: We have come to the end of the presentations. What struck us strongly?
Nonie: I was struck by Astrid’s exposition. We have possibilities for interfaith dialogue in Asia. Basic Human Communities are right among us, but interfaith families are not acknowledged. We got insight into what interfaith dialogue means to nations.
Annette: Two reflections…1)Christians do not seem to matter at all in the contexts we have been considering. What does it mean to be Christian? 2)We are very good at analysing – poverty, hierarchical system, women’s situations. When it comes to theologising, however, we are very limited. Boundaries are all around us…no free thinking…no answers that are satisfactory not only to our brains but to our hearts. I feel very sad. I enjoy being with you but have felt sad, old, heavy.
Julia: I agree with Annette. I don’t feel we entered into imagining or re-imagining. Our capacity to do theology has been very limited.
Agnes: We need to redefine Baptism and sacraments in relation to interfaith families
Dora: Consciousness of shadows is a good place to start, in community first, doing daily theology.
Eva: Is there a need to design some paradigm, some monolithic standard, to journey together and plan for some kind of change, so that we come back with results for the next EWA?
Virginia: You are proposing a framework of action? How? All of us are involved in different spheres of action, because we are geographically scattered.
Lieve: I understood Eva in different way. I understood that she is asking what happens now with our papers: Is there a general base from which to go on?
Sharon: Frankly speaking, our pickings are thin. Are we really re-imagining? We don’t have much content…My contribution will be same sex partnerships and religious.
Nonie: This is tied to things Annette and Sharon said. I don’t think we have re-imagined. Papers have given background, but we haven’t deconstructed women, marriage or family life. The boundaries are here. I am struck by what Astrid has said earlier, “We are so tied to mother Church!” There’s all this loyalty and, at the same time, longing to break away, but not knowing how to do something new. Maybe we work on it for two years in our own countries and then re-imagine.
Mai Than: I was enriched by our experience together…Mary is a female figure of God. I expected her, but that hasn’t come up. She expresses the female aspect of God, as well as a disciple of God, liberating women.
Evelyn: Continuing from Annette and Eva, what is the point of our session? Publication of a book? We have come here to discuss the theme. There is uneasiness now. Where do we go from here: We are still searching for a methodology, for how to analyse and theologise further. There is still work tomorrow, otherwise the process is incomplete. We have content but our questioning (e.g. Balasuriya) is not over.
Liza: From the sharing of experiences, we need to work at the grassroots level, to take something back with us that is easily shared.
Astrid: We have highlighted issues. Could we identify gaps? So next time we might re-imagine the theme.
Bernardeen: Is this to remain a theological exercise? Are we not going back to our own situations? Is this just an isolated situation? We have to have a vision for moving forward. We have to be clear in our minds about what we want.
Evelyn: Confusion is healthy. Let us keep thinking. The purpose of this half hour was to synthesize. We should be stimulated to think, theologise from an Asian feminist perspective. Once we analyse, how do we go beyond? We are searching for methodology. Fixed goals are for activist groups. We are here to theologise. As for re-imagining, we may feel we have not dealt with this.