Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines
What kind of reciprocity exists between unequal partners? How can a 'culture' which makes no attempt to defend unchanging traditions be understood as such? In the Christian Philippines, inequalities - global and local - are negotiated through idioms of persuasion, reluctance and pity. Fenella Cannell's study suggests that these are the idioms of a culture which does not need to represent itself as immutable. Her account of Philippine spirit-mediumship, Catholicism, transvestite beauty contests, and marriage in Bicol calls for a reassessment of our understanding of South-East Asian modernity. Combining a strong theoretical interest in the anthropology of religion with a broader comparative attention to recent developments in South-East Asian studies, she offers a powerful alternative to existing interpretations of the relationship between culture and tradition in the region and beyond. This book addresses not only South-East Asianists, but all those with an interest in the anthropology of religion and post-colonial cultures. Power and Intimacy in the Christian Phillipines has won the Harry J. Benda prize for 2001.
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Page 9 - ... intangible, mysterious, and divine energy which animates the universe. It is manifested in every aspect of the natural world, in stones, trees, clouds, and fire, but is expressed quintessentially in the central mystery of life, the process of generation and regeneration. In Javanese traditional thinking there is no sharp division between organic and inorganic matter, for everything is sustained by the same invisible power. This conception of the entire cosmos being suffused by a formless, constantly...
Page 5 - Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and, by God's grace, to do the very best we could by them, as our fellowmen for whom Christ also died.
Page 5 - ... Kipling urged America to take up the white man's burden, Mr. Dooley, less reverently, noted that it was less than two months since most Americans had learned whether the Philippines were islands or canned goods. After testing the mood of the country, President William McKinley announced that he had no choice but "to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them.
Page 20 - ... provide a well-head. Menander was at great pains to create the atmosphere he wanted, and we can to some extent recreate it for ourselves with the help of contemporary texts and archaeological remains. By so doing we can appreciate rather more clearly the social problem which interested him : the gulf between the world of the rich and the world of the poor, the honest Knemon's complete rejection of the corrupt world of the rich (to which he belonged) for the simple world of the poor, and the kinds...