Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives in Religious Studies
ISSN 2519-5417 (Printed)
ISSN 2519-5425 (Online)
The Journal Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives in Religious Studies is published by the Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of Saint Joseph in Macau.
The sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of Christian life and ministry. The Church calls on all the baptized to live out their baptismal vocation. Because Christian life is a lifelong living out of one’s baptism, it is extremely necessary that Christians understand what the New Testament says about it. This article examines the meaning and practice of baptism in the New Testament by looking at its historical antecedents, by comparing it with the baptism of John, and by looking at the variety of metaphors employed by the early church to explain the practice.
From a reason-faith perspective, I reflect on “Vatican II: Gaudium et Spes Fifty Years Later.” In the introduction, I speak briefly on the Second Vatican Council, and on its Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes (“Joy and Hope”) and its ethical and social teachings.
This study will discuss the following Old Testament texts: Gen 32:23-32; Jon 1:17; Tob 6:1-9; and Exod 4:24-26 and will argue that these are about the initiation of a person to do a divine mission. Some parallels from Asia—Epic Gilgamesh, texts from Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Philippine epic, Biag ni Lam-ang will also be taken into consideration to shed light on them. It will also present their interpretation as typoi of the sacraments of initiations found in early Christian literature and art.
The author emphasizes the crucial relevance of religious liberty and freedom of expression for a harmonious and peaceful development of modern societies. He follows the prophetic Declaration of Religious Freedom of Second Vatican Council (1965) with its constitutional limitation of governmental powers in matters of religion. The high value of religious freedom is judged as bulwark of all human rights and true capstone of sound human and societal developments, which have to be guarded against any form of infringements. In this regard, a reasonable education in religious freedom and liberty is indispensable for young people of the twenty-first century. Education in religious freedom in the context of moral and religious formation is based on the dignity of every human person and promotes a deeper mutual and cultural understanding by respecting the conscience of every human person. It thus carries the potential to diminish conflicts and clashes in a sustainable way. Educational reforms in countries have to include the high value of religious liberty and freedom as a main element and condition for human dignity and a peaceful global development.
In the Bible, having a meal is not equal to filling one’s stomach. Far from it. Meals are held in high regard in the Bible. Because of that, meals have a special place in Jewish and Christian liturgy as well. In this article, I would like to sketch the outlines of the Biblical characteristics of meals. The main aspects go back to the Passover meal, which, in the Bible, functions as a basic model for all meals. Starting from the Passover meal, I would like to deal with the various aspects of meals in the Bible. I will mention four characteristics in particular: community, hospitality, liberation, and bread and wine. Subsequently, I would like to make clear that these Biblical elements have got their place in the celebration of the Eucharistic meal.