Rizal as a Deist

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Dr. Jose Rizal: The Foremost Filipino Deist
The national hero of the Philippines was actually a deist but this fact is not widely known among Filipinos. Tags: deism, deist, filipino, jose rizal, Religion
Published by joemar taganna in Religion on September 23, 2006 | 126 responsesThere are so many things that ordinary Filipinos do not know about their national hero. Even if his two novels (Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo) is being studied in high school and his life and works in college as part of the curriculum, many things have been left out of importance. Many details in the novels have been omitted and some aspects of Rizal’s life have been neglected if not concealed for some reasons.

For instance, it is little known that Rizal was actually a deist. He had a firm belief in God but he rejected revealed religion. When we say revealed religion, it refers to a religion that bases its teachings on a supposed revelation from God contained in “holy books” and/or traditions handed down from generations to generations. One can read Rizal’s exposition on this subject in his correspondence with a Jesuit priest, Fr. Pablo Pastells, who was actually his spiritual director during his youthful years in Ateneo. The exchange occurred when Rizal was in an exile in Dapitan and when Fr. Pastells was already the Superior of the Philippine Mission of the Society of Jesus. In his third letter to Pastells, our national hero explained: “Through reasoning and by necessity, rather than through faith, do I firmly believe in the existence of a creative Being. Who is he? I do not know. What human sounds, what accents are we to use in pronouncing the name of this Being whose works overwhelm the imagination? Can anyone give him an adequate name, when a small creature on this earth with power so fleeting carries two or three names, three or four surnames, and many more titles and designations? We call him Dios but this only comes from the Latin dues and ultimately from the...
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