“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”
By Alex P. Vidal
Even if we elect the best politicians to lead our country, we can’t survive as a nation if we lack or refuse to adopt spirituality as a way of life, warned Dr. Richard Plana, Iloilo’s top guru on spirituality.
“Our concept of spirituality should be universal and not parochial,” explained the Ilonggo university professor. “Spirituality will save us from moral, cultural, economic and political decay.”
Plana cited “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome.”
“They are all in past tense because aside from the fact that they now belong in history, Greece is not anymore glorious and Rome does not have grandeur,” he said.
India has survived as a nation and is now a force to reckon with in education, economy and technology because of its spirituality, he stressed.
Plana said when we turn to spirituality, “our mental and intellectual stocks will develop and we become a light in the world if the best in us, the apex in us is drawn out.”
The psychology professor revealed he specializes in teaching of homiletics and hermeneutics, the modern studies of arts, sciences and theology.
Homiletics means “to assemble together” and in theology the application of the general principles of rhetoric to the specific department of public preaching. The one who practices or studies homiletics is called a homilist.
According to Plana, homiletics is the study of the composition and delivery of a sermon or other religious discourse. It includes all forms of preaching, the sermon, homily and catechetical instruction. It may be further defined as the study of the analysis, classification, preparation, composition and delivery of sermons.
It was learned that the formation of such lectureships as the Lyman Beecher course at Yale University resulted in increased attention being given to homiletics, and the published volumes of this series are a useful source of information regarding the history and practice of the discipline.
Hermeneutics broadly is the art and science of text interpretation. Traditional hermeneutics is the study of the interpretation of written texts, especially texts in the areas of literature, religion and law.
Plana said a type of traditional hermeneutic is biblical hermeneutics which concerns the study of the interpretation of the Bible. In religious studies and social philosophy, hermeneutics is the study of the theory and practice of interpretation. Modern hermeneutics encompasses everything in the interpretative process including verbal and nonverbal forms of communication as well as prior aspects that affect communication, such as presuppositions, preunderstandings, the meaning and philosophy of language, and semiotics.
The terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably. However, hermeneutics is a more widely defined discipline of interpretation theory, because it includes the entire framework of the interpretive process, encompassing written, verbal, and nonverbal communication. Exegesis, on the other hand, focuses primarily on written text.