DIALOGUE AND PROCLAMATION OF TRUTH: Reception of Nostra Aetate and Ad Gentes by the FABC

  • Agnez M. Brazal DVK
Keywords: Evangelization, Ad Gentes, Dialogue, Ecclesia in Asia, FABC, Interreligious Inculturation, Nostra Aetate, Proclamation


This paper explores the relationship between dialogue and proclamation of Christ in the Vatican II documents Nostra Aetate1 and Ad Gentes2 and their reception by the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) – its plenary assembly, as well as the Bishops Institute for Religious Affairs (BIRA) and Formation Institute for Interreligious Affairs (FIRA) seminars under the FABC Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.This essay argues that FABC has appropriated as well as gone beyond the teachings of Nostra Aetate and Ad Gentes on dialogue and proclamation. For FABC, the triple dialogue with religions, cultures, and the poor is not just a means but the mode of proclaiming Christ in Asia. Furthermore, unlike Ad Gentes, proclamation of Christ is not aimed at conversion to Christianity, but is, instead, understood as the promotion of God’s reign. In continuity with Nostra Aetate and Ad Gentes, the FABC plenary documents however do not go as far as the BIRA IV and FIRA documents where the discourse on Christianity as fulfilling all the other religions had disappeared.

Author Biography

Agnez M. Brazal, DVK

Dr Agnes M. Brazal, associate professor and research fellow at the De la Salle University Manila, Philippines, is co-author of Intercultural Church (Borderless Press, 2015) and co-editor of eight anthologies on themes of migration, women, and Asian theologies.


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Ad Gentes – On the Mission Activity of the Church, December 7, 1965 <http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_eligiousvatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19651207_ad-gentes_en.html> (6 June 2016).

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Alberigo and Komonchak, History of Vatican II, vol. 4, 608-612. Thomas Emprayil, The Emerging Theology of Religions, Vincentian Ashram, Rewa: Vincentian Publications, 1980, 14.

Bishop Philip Egan, "Ad Gentes and the New Evangelisation,” <http://www.wonersh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/20130904-Ad-Gentes.pdf> (6 March 2016);

Stephen B. Bevans and Jeffrey Gros, Evangelization and Religious Freedom: Ad Gentes, Dignitatis Humanae, New York: Paulist Press, 2009.

Stephen B. Bevans, “Church Teaching on Mission: Ad Gentes, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Redemptoris Missio and Dialogue and Proclamation <http://www.maryknollvocations.com/mission.pdf> (7 March 2016).

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Hirudayam, “Christian Attitudes to World Religions,” Delhi Seminar, September 1973, 2, cited by Archbishop Angelo Fernandes, “Summons to Dialogue,” FABC Papers, no. 34, <http://www.fabc.org/fabc%20papers/fabc_paper_34.pdf> (7 June 2016).

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For All the Peoples of Asia, vol. 3, ed. Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD, Quezon City: Claretians Publications, 139-145; henceforth FAPA, vol. 3. See also International Congress on Mission, “Outline of the Message of the Delegates,” 7 December 1979, in FAPA vol. 1, 141.

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Agnes M. Brazal and Emmanuel S, de Guzman, Intercultural Church: Bridge of Solidarity in the Migration Context, San Jose, CA: Borderless Press, 2015.

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Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 1971 (1 March 2016).

FABC VI, “Christian Discipleship in Asia Today: Service to Life, 1995, no. 13 in FAPA vol. 2, ed. Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD, Quezon City: Claretian Publications, 1997, 275

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“Colloquium on Church in Asia in the 21st Century: Towards a Communion and Solidarity in the Context of Globalization,” 25-30 August 1997, no. 7.1, in FAPA, vol. 3, 33-46.

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<http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000806_dominus-iesus_en.html> (1 March 2016). The FABC response to Dominus Iesus can be found in the FABC-Office for Theological Concerns document “Doing Asian Theology in Asia Today.” Edmund Chia, “FABC’s Response to Dominus Iesus,” East Asian Pastoral Review no. 3 (2001) <http://www.eapi.org.ph/resources/eapr/east-asian-pastoral-review-2001/2001-3/fabcs-response-to-dominus-iesus/> (8 September 2016).

“Renewed Commitment to Proclaim Jesus” in For All the Peoples of Asia, vol. 4, ed. Franz-Josef Eilers, Quezon City: Claretian Publications, 2007, 249-258.

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The Code of Canon Law, London: Collins Liturgical Publications, 1983; John Paul II, Apostolos Suos, <http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_220 71998_apostolos-suos.html> (7 April 2016).

Cindy Wooden, “Pope calls for ‘synodal’ church that listens, learns, shares mission,” National Catholic Reporter, October 17, 2015, <http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/pope-calls-synodal-church-listens-learns-shares-mission> (7 March 2017).

How to Cite
M. Brazal, A. (2017). DIALOGUE AND PROCLAMATION OF TRUTH: Reception of Nostra Aetate and Ad Gentes by the FABC . Journal of Dharma, 42(4), 411-434. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/jd/article/view/263