The Enlightenment, Deism, and Rizal

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, Philippines, Liberalism Pages: 2 (610 words) Published: September 28, 2014
Raul J. Bonoan, S.J., the author of the article ‘The Enlightenment, Deism, and Rizal’, tries to figure out whether Jose Rizal truly became a deist through the heavy influences he garnered while he was studying at Madrid, Spain since his arrival in 1882 or not. During that time, the country Spain was moving towards the Enlightenment period and at the Universidad Central De Madrid, where Rizal was studying, was divided into Liberals and Traditional Catholic believers. These circumstances were one of the many that affected his ideals. To answer his questions, the author, from the correspondences Rizal wrote to his parents and to Pastell and as well as the character reference of Tasio El Filosofo of Noli Me Tangere he used as his basis, pointed out three criticisms regarding Rizal’s deism. He organized his researches and explained its correlations to each other and thereafter formed his conclusion. Firstly, he finds ‘Rizal’s view of nature as one-sided, ignoring the all too tragic facts of floods, plagues, earthquakes, and other natural disasters’. Secondly, ‘Rizal presupposes that the study of nature is an easy one’. And lastly ‘the “revelation of nature” is not a true revelation. Through these criticisms, we can see that Rizal’s independence from the Catholic Church is incomplete. Bonoan, S.J., deduces that the enlightenment and deist ideas of Rizal provided him a wider scope of ideas to help him nurture his people’s rising national consciousness during the 19th century since the Church wass looked down upon with much suspicion. These ideas Rizal learned while being away from the Philippines made him realize that the Church was being used to gain power and wealth. Thus Rizal’s way of perceiving the Church can be called defensive Catholic theology. I find Raul Bonoan, S.J.’s article ‘The Enlightenment, Deism, and Rizal’ intellectual and very interesting. It was very interesting for me because the explanation of the Enlightenment, Deism, and Rizal were all...
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