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Avoiding the Void
An Awry Look at Politics, Religion and Other Malaysian Monsters
“Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek [in The Puppet and the Dwarf] has pointed out how the Book of Job was probably the first instance whereby discursive strategies were employed to promote ideology. Job’s friends, in presenting all kinds of explanations for why Job suffered the tragedies he did, were attempting to obscure the trauma of the truth of evil in the world. Job’s disagreement—and God’s eventual vindication and endorsement of his views over against his friends’—demonstrated resilience in the face of such tempting illusions of closure. For Job, he refused to look away from the void in his pain. He refused to accept cheap solutions to the problem and ‘causes’ of his suffering. And just like how Job’s friends sought to cover-up Job’s trauma via inauthentic explanations, could it be that Malaysia’s leaders are always seeking to pull a veil over the abyss within the country via the promise of growth, wealth and prosperity, as if money solves everything? What happens, then, when the tap runs dry? Would Malaysia have the integrity and national strength to pull together and enjoy ourselves as a nation instead of constantly striving towards a globally indexed statistical target which, in all honesty, can never be met because there will always be another number in the future?”
Format: Ebook (please read our ebooks policy)
Category: Church, Politics & State; Christian Living
Publication Date: December 2013
In 2011, we published a collection of essays that explores some common issues that arise when we relate the Christian faith with politics — The Bible and the Ballot: Reflections on Christian Political Engagement in Malaysia Today. It opened up discussion ranging from democracy, political preaching, discerning prayer, wisdom to vote, and Christian’s participation in social issues.
Christianity & Citizenship is a follow-up series that focuses on Christians’ participation as citizens. Like the previous series, the present one is also a collective effort by Christians from different parts of the theological spectrum.
Good theological reflection should always be a dialogue between the Scriptures and the critical issues of the day. It should also be done in community so that in conversation, we see clearer how the Word of God bears on our concerns. Our goal in presenting this series of essays is not merely to deepen our understanding. We also hope they will yield insights for how we ought to live.
~ from the Editors’ Note