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Asian Politics and Ecumenical Vision: Selected Writings of Feliciano V. Carino.

Asian Politics and Ecumenical Vision: Selected Writings of Feliciano V. Carino.

Edited by Philip L. Wickeri and Marina True. Hong Kong: Christian Conference of Asia, 2013. Pp. 304. Paperback $12.

Asian Politics and Ecumenical Vision is a posthumous collection of writings by Feliciano Carino, whose overarching concern was to present an authentic, living, Asian theology to make Christianity more relevant to Asian people. Carino's theological reflection includes the actualization of Christian faith in the context of the political dictatorship of his own country, the Philippines; challenges arising from the Asian reality of religious plurality and poverty; and the role of Christianity in Asian countries facing globalization.

The editors arranged Carino's writings into four groups. The articles in part 1 emphasize the importance of formulating a living theology in Asia that goes beyond Western ready-made theologies so as to be legitimate and relevant to Asian people. In part 2 we see Carino struggling to articulate the role of the churches in the rapidly changing political, economic, social, and religious geography of Asia. Part 3 displays Carino's passion for the building of a better society and for enlightening Asian Christian intellectuals for that task. In part 4, Carino, sensing the impact of globalization in Asia, asks Asian churches to be more positive as agents in keeping up with global trends and to forge a new future of Asian peoples.

Readers may find the articles in each part to be loosely connected, since they were prepared as lectures in various settings, but the book as a whole clearly shows a development in Carino's theological stance and his perceptions of major issues in the Asian theater. His consistent concern, as for many Asian theologians, was to give the Christian Gospel reality as an actual belief held by Asian people in such a way that Christianity would make sense to them.

Carino's articles faithfully represent the struggles Asian theologians went through in articulating authentic Asian theology from the 1960s up to the early 2000s. During this period many Asian theologians attempted to de-Westernize theology in Asia. Carino contributed significantly to this discourse, and we can feel his struggles on each page. One aspect of his thought that I would cautiously point out is that Carino's emphasis on praxis maybe misperceived to be ideological and partisan rather than a genuine Christian effort for social and political improvement. But that would be to misread him. Unfortunately, in most Asian countries praxis-oriented church movements have often faced resistance from the typically conservative religious consciousness of Asians.

This book well captures Carino's authentic Asian struggle to bring the Gospel to Asian people. Readers will benefit from the insights of an Asian theologian-practitioner who sought to be faithful both to Christian truth and to Asian reality.

Moonjang Lee is senior pastor of Doorae Church, Seoul, South Korea. Previously he taught at Trinity Theological College, Singapore; University of Edinburgh, Scotland; and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

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Author:Lee, Moonjang
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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