Ritual Crucifiction and Self-Mortification in the Catholic Philippines

By Julius Bautista

© 2016 – Routledge

288 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415531467
pub: 2016-03-30

About the Book

This book, based on extensive original research, provides a rich analysis of the extensive, intense and highly-popular self-mortification practices in the Catholic Philippines. It describes the practices, and discusses the nature of the popular piety involved, arguing that participants’ primary experience is spiritual edification and religious ecstasy rather than pain and suffering per se, and that the practices are an expression of local concepts of morality and propitiation, rather than the product of Spanish missionary effort. The book charts the historical development of the practices, discusses the long-standing disapproval of church authorities and the reasons for this, and compares self-mortification practices in the Philippines with similar practices in a range of different religions elsewhere in Southeast Asia. It also examines how self-mortification practices are viewed in the Philippines media, where self-mortification penitents are generally portrayed as lacking in theological sophistication, whilst their suffering is seen as symbolic of the more general poor situation of the Philippines nation.

Table of Contents

1. The Philippines as the New Face of Christendom 2. The Excruciating Ecstasy of Jackson Cunanan: Magdarame as religious sociality in Pampanga 3. Hesukristo, Superstar: Performing Pain Sincerely 4. Power and the Passion: Loob and Divine Indebtedness 5. Disciplina: Bodily Techniques of the Crucified Subject 6. Mainstream Perceptions of Magdarame Penitents from the 1960s 7. Divine Pain in Southeast Asia 8. The Bright Side of Pain: Self-mortification Beyond Function and Meaning

About the Author

Julius Bautista is a Lecturer in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore

About the Series

Routledge Religion in Contemporary Asia Series

Much work on contemporary religion in Asia considers the subject from the perspective of the great religions, often focusing on the development of official beliefs, and the development of formal institutions.  The books in this series, on the other hand, examine the actual practice of religion in everyday life in modern Asian societies.  They reveal a very rich picture of varying religious practices, many of them new and non-traditional.  The religions of Asia are undergoing much radical change not only communal religious revivalism, but also an explosion of urban piety, popular preaching, charismatic churches, and on-line religion.  The books cover a wide range of subjects in the countries of East, Southeast, South and Central Asia.  The series welcomes innovative approaches to theory and methods in the study of religion and religions, and work which considers religion in relation to culture, politics, ethnicity or gender. 

Bryan S. Turner is Presidential Professor of Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York and Professor and Director of the Centre for Religion and Society at the University of Western Sydney.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General