Fr. Joel Camaya, SDB, PhL, SSL drew an audience of more than 60 people, mostly students of theology and including at least five professors, as he lectured on “Except the Sign of the Prophet Jonah: An Interpretation of Mt 12:38-42.”
The talk held on Thursday, July 28, launched the Ex Corde Lecture Series, a new project of the Research Office, where DBCS faculty can share their very own research with the academic community and at the same time help students with their research interests and concerns by recommending research methods and techniques. The event is open to all; admission is free.
Each two-hour session is divided into two parts: the first hour is devoted to the featured speaker’s talk, while in the second hour, audience members are given time to ask questions about the content as well as the research methodology. Students are thus given the chance to learn how to enrich their own research by asking for practical advice and tips.
Fr. Camaya gave his exegetical commentary on the sign of Jonah in the simple pericope in Mt 12 (consisting of five verses), using the synchronic and diachronic methods. He divided his talk into three parts: first, the text, context, and redaction (delimitation of the actual text, parallels with other texts, etc.); second, analysis of the text (verse by verse, structural, linguistic, semantic, etc.); and, third, the theological – including Christological, Pneumatological, ethical, and pastoral – implications.
Students, as well as professors, took advantage of the second hour to ask questions and share their comments after his lecture. Among them was Rev. Juvelan Samia, SDB, a fourth year BTh-MATh student, who observed that the speaker seamlessly combined both passion for writing and scholarly research, which is not very common.
Among the practical advice that Fr Camaya gave include the following: First, in working on biblical text, begin with your own reading first before looking at the other authors. Start with your own questions, observations, and analysis. Second, choose a topic that you are passionate about; something that can be shared with your own community, family, etc.; do not just look at research as a requirement. Third, in his own experience, he was most productive in his research and writing in moments when he was at peace — and not overwhelmed with other concerns and tasks.
There are three more sessions of Ex Corde this academic year. The next speaker is Fr. Stephen Placente, SDB, SSL, SThD (Cand.) who will be speaking on “Passion for Narratives: Survival Guide in Research” on September 15, Thursday, 1:30-3:30 pm in DBCS.
The name Ex Corde, Latin for “From the Heart,” draws from the biblical meaning of the heart – the center of one’s physical, intellectual, spiritual activity. The term was chosen for this series of lectures because research ought to be seen as more than just a school requirement but as an opportunity to invest oneself and enrich our understanding of the faith and how it should be lived out. The name is also reminiscent of “Ex Corde Ecclesia” John Paul II’s apostolic constitution regarding Catholic colleges and universities.