Thursday, June 19, 2008

Class Syllabus

Course Description:
This elective course will examine biblical, ethical, theological, feminist, and other views of human sexuality in relation to key issues/topics as gender construction, procreation, marriage, courtship rituals, rites of passage, and sexual orientation. The course also aims to deepen pastoral awareness in dealing with these key issues.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the term, seminarians are expected to
1. Have gained a broader perspective and understanding of the identified issues/topics of human sexuality.
2. Have recorded/shared their insights and discoveries in their journals/logs/blogs.
3. Have submitted a group advocacy project on a selected issue/topic.

Required Texts:
1. The Bible, preferably the New Revised Standard Version or Tagalog 1905
2. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s The Woman’s Bible (available for download at
3. Kinsey Reports at
4. Riane Eisler at
5. Tapia-Raquel and Velunta eds., Babaylan: Feminist Articulations and Expressions
6. Feature Films: Bata, Bata, Paano ka Ginawa?, The Sin of Father Amaro, Brokeback Mountain, etc.

Class Requirements:
1. Use of inclusive language, 10%
2. Attendance and class participation, 10%
3. Individual Journals, 40% (Faith Encounters)—notebook, blog, and/or email
4. Group Activities, 40%
5. Master of Theology Students will have additional requirements


ma beate mantilla hernandez said...

In the Arms of Love?
Movie Review
The Sin of Father Amaro

Looking through the eyes of a young priest, that’s what he was. Father Amarro, a young priest who came to a small town, sent by the Church through the Bishop for an Internship (possibly a short term assignment before bowing to a full pledged vocation). I totally see the human sexuality issue of no matter how far and wide, cognitive and shallow a man could be.

He fell in love with a girl, attracted at some point, Amelia a very active young leader of his parish. This sensual attraction and mutual feeling of love and hate, sex and lush of temporal passion lead him to support and sustain the fire of passion. He has indulged to successive lies in order to fulfill each others hunger for momentary pleasure and sexual expression.

Helplessly indulged, Father Amarro could have seen a good environment for his mentoring and molding hours while doing his immersion or task of being a servant of God. Black politics co-exist in his time of shelter for knowledge and doing theology. The very thought of black politics co-exist even before this time period, it was even those time when the Church started the play of political diagram, remember the time of the dark ages, and the time when the church became the head of the state. The very reason why Dr. Jose Rizal after flaunting the complex state of politics and society had its interchangeable fashion of doing such ended up his life in the hands of the authority.

Moreover, Father Amarro moved the hands of opportunity, putting Amelia to decide on her own, the baby and her own future, excluding himself, he did not think about the implications of their illegitimate acts would bring. He concentrated only on his own pleasure and delight. In effect, he terminated the sacristan (Martin) of their parish who knew about their relationship.

Father Amarro had exposure to some controversial, yet important details and facets of social activity, human reality of frailty and convictions. His constant conversation with another priest who has been involved to community organizing somehow made him think of his own stand, conviction at the some point.

Eventually, His decision to reach the top, having felt the very things that he would be doing as a priest will be a good future for him, made him to deliver the girl to a more dangerous situation.

I was overly touched of that scene when he asked for forgiveness to Amelia, called out to wait for him and uttered the words of forgiveness. It was almost at the point of realization, but until the end part of the story. It was his sin that made him completely consumed of sinfulness. It was a moment that he felt the shame and decided to wash hands of not to become responsible to all of what happened.

Human sexuality in the eyes of socio-economic, psychological, theological paradigm has brought many changes in the effect of human life. Father Amarro, Amelia and other priests involved have displayed their human frailty and issues on human sexuality.

They had moments of need and accepting each others end of human depravity, but it was all over carried by decision and personal conviction. At one point, it made me think about our self resonance of things seen and heard. We are all over carried by our ways and perfection, some may even think it will never happen to me, but we cannot truly hold back the time and space, all I know is that God is forever faithful; sin is everywhere, and everything. Coming back and going through life, it is in Him that we are made strong to fulfill our task, if some Father Amarro come our way, it is also not fitting to throw the dust, life is always unfair. Doing such is a mouthful of disgrace to a brother and more to ourselves, each of us have our own depravity, and we do not earn the right to judge others nor to exclude ourselves from the sin committed by others; we may not know it, that we are already doing it.

Prepared by:
Ma. Beate Mantilla-Hernandez
MDIV Senior

ma beate mantilla hernandez said...

A Film Review by Ma. Beate Mantilla-Hernandez, RND
for Biblico-Ethical Issues on Human Sexuality

Bridges serve as connection of two different locations; connection marks a good description to relate two different world. I have ultimately felt the need to describe my own connection to Bridges of Madison County. A film of re-showing what life has to take to become fulfilled, to see our hopes, regrets and plans.

Francesca a typical woman of a household, bound to perform daily routine as a mother, housewife and a household keeper. Kept and locked to scenery which made her to move to a limited space in life. She may give her smile if needed but deep on those grin she is deeply wounded of not doing her dream and plans in life.

Carolyn and Michael were the siblings of Francesca and Richard. Born to this life to become part of citizenship, led to portray their role as youngsters who are also driven to become someone someday, have their own family and earn a good income, their lives were also in the brink of broken marriages not until they both read the written unspoken truth of their mothers fate in love and fate in the hope to become a woman who fights for her love which was consumed by life’s standard and value.

Richard the strong man in the house displays timid direction. He is a picture of a partner living the simplicity of life and passion. His relationship with Francesca is smoothly felt by his wife’s description of him, clean and responsible.

Robert a photographer, an artist at his own right. Came to Madison County to do his project for National Geographic, shooting pictures of its beautiful and masterpieces of Bridges. On his road to the county, he was bound to begin a life full of love and passion in a wrong time and place? Meanwhile, Carolyn had to spend a week for her competition and was accompanied by her dad and Michael. Francesca opted to stay home with herself, do the chores and farm with a complete thought of spending the week to be with herself, not knowing that her 4 days will become her life turning and life changing experience with a man who will open a journey with her to bridges of life and decision.

This film is done on a setting with very limited yet profound places to a life of a woman. Francesca lived in a few spaces such as house, backyard, kitchen (where all women spent a lot of time cooking, washing dishes for the family) farm and grocery. A cheap production indeed but it is meant to portray some good important point to Francesca’s life, a very simple and homebound life.

Her four days with Robert of whom she spent after taking him to the route to Roseman Bridge was ever remembering. She felt the love and reason to become a woman of whom she realized she really is, a woman who loved to be loved, caress for a reason, and make love for certainty and not for a responsibility.

The day came when she needed to decide of whether to leave her Madison County life, Carolyn, Michael and Richard, and stay away, go away with Robert. That hand that grasp the car knob to open a decision to leave and haste a life that would make her and complete her.

My dear friends I would want us to come together and picture ourselves to her need of realization, are you going to open the door and off the truck to be with someone whom you felt the need to become someone who is important, filled your life?

I would totally admire her confused yet ready to decide moments because she was completely driven to mark a good life to only not herself but to the entire Johnson family. She was crucial enough by saying “I choose my family”. She has done a mistake by giving herself to a man, she has done mistake by trusting someone to fill her empty county life? But in the end she chooses to be with her children.

Moreover, that life she spent with Richard her husband is a vow she made to the community, to the Lord and to both their parents. Indeed a life for marriage is a work to do. I would still want to feel for Francesca, her decision for Robert an the 4 days are both result for her need of love and importance.

Marriage is a lifetime bridge to travel, we may find times of loose and the fire and heartbeat is nowhere felt and observed, but I think I need to develop it and revisit the feeling again and again to the one same man I presented to God when I entered marriage with him, that no matter how many Robert comes along I will still travel this journey with the man I love. I need to explain this part, I am not against or discriminating Francesca at all, she is a woman of care which resembles our vital requests to our partners in this travel of life. This film articulated our own call to come and go back to our loved ones and begin to travel with good and abiding trust and filling each others must have.

How abut you? Are you going to let Robert in when your husband is there? Are you going to open the knob, off the truck and decide for a lifetime?