Appropriation and resistance in Philippine Marian devotion

Aguilar, Maria Gloria C. (2001) Appropriation and resistance in Philippine Marian devotion. Doctoral thesis, University of North London.

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Abstract / Description

This dissertation is a postcolonial study of Philippine Marian devotion using, among others, M. M. Bakhtin's theory of dialogism and Homi Bhabha's theories on ambivalence (the "simultaneous desire for and disavowal of a given object"), mimicry and hybridity. It is also a historical study of Philippine Marian devotion, and it differentiates Philippine Mariology from the Latin American (both locations being former Spanish colonies and thus historically and culturally connected) in the way that Philippine pre-Hispanic animistic religion has shaped and continues to shape Philippine religiosity today. The syncretic or hybrid religiosity that emerged as a result of transculturation has, in the past, provided the impetus for native rebellion and resistance against the colonizers. As a specific example of this kind of religiosity, Marian devotion may also therefore be seen as a site of appropriation and resistance. Although the methods of appropriation, resistance and subversion are quite subtle, they may in fact be seen in the ambivalent attitudes to Mary that can be found among Filipinos in general: while people seemingly subscribe to the Marian stereotypes perpetuated by the Philippine Catholic Church and the dominant social classes, there is nevertheless a subversion of these stereotypes through an active re-situating or re-contextualizing of Marian symbolism. Indeed, while in many Philippine Marian events (e. g. the Marian festival or the Marian apparition) the traditional (or Church advocated) formats are generally followed, they have become objects of, to use Bhabha's terminology, mimesis or parody. Moreover, this ambivalence towards Mary is extended towards the Catholic faith as a whole, which has historically been associated with the legitimation of colonial authority.

The importance of this study is that, while many Filipino academics have written about the Passion of Christ and its significance for the colonized Filipino, there has been no attempt to analyze the Filipinos' identification with Mary as a form of resistance against oppressive colonial and neo-colonial discourses.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philippine Marian devotion; Philippine Catholic Church
Subjects: 200 Religion > 280 Christian denominations & sects
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2022 16:49
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 16:49


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