Liberation Theology in the Philippines: Faith in a Revolution (Religion in the Age of Transformation Series)
Howell, Brian, Journal of Church and State
Liberation Theology in the Philippines: Faith in a Revolution (Religion in the Age of Transformation Series). By Kathleen M. Nadeau. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers, 2002. 129 pp. $59.00.
Liberation theology is a venerable topic among scholars of religion. Given that much of the most vibrant theological work came in the early 1970s, it may seem there is not much new to be said. Anthropologist Kathleen Nadeau, however, brings a fresh and interesting focus back to the topic. Doing what anthropology does best, Nadeau brings theoretical and theological abstractions "to the ground" and explores the lived experiences of liberation theology among several Base Ecclesial Communities (BECs) on the central Philippine island of Cebu. In a very short and readable book, Nadeau presents a variety of BECs to suggest how the theological ideals are realized, (mis)understootl, and politically positioned. In the end, she leaves the reader with some questions unanswered, but with a much richer sense of how these theologies, and religion in general, remain influential and potentially powerful pieces of the larger puzzle of'late-modern, postcoloiiial capitalism.
The book is divided into nine short chapters. For those unfamiliar with the Philippines, the first two chapters nicely summarize the basic elements of the Spanish and American colonial regimes. Chapters three through six lay out the core of her argument, presenting the ethnographic data that makes this study an important piece in understanding liberation theology and its relationship to development projects. Chapters five and six, in particular, illuminate her larger point that close ethnographic study of these communities is necessarily to interpret the possibilities within the …
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Publication information: Article title: Liberation Theology in the Philippines: Faith in a Revolution (Religion in the Age of Transformation Series). Contributors: Howell, Brian - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 46. Issue: 2 Publication date: Spring 2004. Page number: 395. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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