The Theological Squabble of Duterte Against the Catholic Church: Discourse Analysis of Duterte’s God-Talk Based on the Verses Found on Online News

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to provide a discourse analysis of President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial statements and public pronouncements about God, the Catholic Church and its clergy, and Christian teachings based on online news and similar websites. Using critical discourse analysis grounded in Michel Foucault’s (1980) theory of knowledge/power nexus, the present paper is a modest attempt to come up with a systematic account of Duterte’s “theological” musings based on his random extemporized diatribes against God and Christian religion. Reconstructing Duterte’s “theology” does not mean assessing it from the mainstream religious point of view but rather bringing into light the theological tenets of Duterte’s concept of God and foregrounding them in the context of our predominantly Christian culture. This study wants primarily to understand what are the objectives that these performative pronouncements seek to achieve politically, and what interests they serve based on Foucault’s (1980) analysis of “regime of truth.”