Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 18, 1999 - Social Science - 312 pages
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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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Contents

Marriage stories speaking of reluctance and control
29
Talking about marriage
30
Sa gusto kan mga magurang At your parents will
33
Obedient daughters
35
parents and children
36
Difficult women and good husbands
38
Total escape and complete defeat
39
Learnt love pitying your husband and talking things over
41
Death and those who have nothing
140
calling the dead embalming and the aswang
141
customs relating to death
145
Embalming the look of the corpse and the moment of death
148
The problem of the next world and the ability of the dead to come back
152
Controlled encounters between the living and the dead
155
Pistang Kalag
156
The language of bereavement
161

reluctance and the spirits
42
With girls you can insist but not with boys
45
Kinship and the ritualisation of marriage
48
the Age of the Father and the Age of the Child
51
Spouses and siblings
54
The ritualisation of courtship and marriage in the recent past the bahon
59
The ritualisation of courtship and marriage in the recent past the wedding
61
The ritualisation of courtship and marriage in the distant past
63
Hierarchy and the house in the seventeenthcentury Philippines
67
Past into present
72
Marriage stories the house and the power of talking
73
Healing and the spirits
77
Introduction healing and the people who have nothing
79
The people we cannot see
83
Spirit mediums and spiritcompanions
88
Becoming a medium
89
Auring
92
Auring and Clara
94
Healers and the other person
98
Debt and healing healing and money
101
Debt and healing patrons pity and oppression
104
Spirit mediums and seance forms changing relations to the spirit world
108
Voice unequal conversations and the Bicol seance
109
Temptations baptised spirits and the reach of Gods blessing
118
Coda the birthdayparties of the spirits
129
Saints and the dead
135
The living and the dead
137
the living and the dead
162
The funeral of the dead Christ
165
The funeral of Catalina Dominguez
166
The funeral in the Pasion
167
The funeral of Christ
172
Kinship reciprocity and devotions to the saints
183
The pity of mothers
188
Begging for help
191
The nature of exchange with the Ama and the effects of Christian conversion
193
Bicolano healing and the absence of political event
199
Beauty contests
201
Beauty and the idea of America
203
Beauty in the barangay
206
Overcoming shame and becoming beautiful
209
Becoming beautiful
212
The Miss Gay Naga City Contest 1988
219
Difficult transformations
222
Conclusion oppression pity and transformation
227
Debtsocieties unpredictable status and capitalism
234
The disappearance of the lowlands as a cultural object
241
Continuity and change in the anthropology of identity
245
Knowing the words
250
Appendix
255
Notes
259
Bibliography
287
Index
307
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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.
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About the author (1999)

Fenella Cannell is Lecturer in Anthropology at the London School of Economics.

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