Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Growth and Decline: Essays on Philippine Church History

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Growth and Decline: Essays on Philippine Church History

Article excerpt

Growth and Decline: Essays on Philippine Church History. By John N. Schumacher, SJ. (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. 2009. Pp. x, 291. $43.00 paperback. ISBN 978-9-715-50588-8.)

John N. Schumacher is a recognized authority in Philippine Church history. His works Father José Burgos, Priest and Nationalist (Manila, 1999); Revolutionary Clergy (Quezon City, 1981); and Readings in Philippine Church History (Quezon City, 1987) are materials used in courses on the history of Catholicism. His latest book is an anthology of essays that span 1979 to 2006 and have been revised.The revisions have been prompted by the publication of newer material and by Schumacher's re-examination of his conclusions and generalizations. In these essays, he presents a nuanced and well thought-out writing of history, avoiding simplistic generalizations and reflecting knowledge of the changes that have occurred over time and space.

The theme of "Growth and Decline" links the six chapters that trace the development of the Catholic Church in the Philippines: "Bishop Domingo de Salazar and the Manila Synod of 1582 Fight for Justice"; "The Golden Age of the Philippine Church, 1700-1768"; "The Early Filipino Clergy,: 1698-1762"; "Sycretism in Philippine Catholicism: Its Historical Causes"; "The Burgos Manifesto: The Authentic Text and Its Genuine Author" ; and "A Hispanicized Clergy in an Americanized Country, 1910-1970".

Chapter 2 was specifically written for this collection, serving as a linchpin that binds the other five chapters together. Here, Schumacher re-examines previous periodizations of Philippine history, proposes a more nuanced frame, and sounds the theme of growth and decline. …

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