Dr. Alison Marshall: Bayanihan & Belonging – Filipinos and Religion in Canada

Date(s) - April 5, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre

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The talk will provide an overview of Filipino religiosity in Canada today. Dr. Marshall will draw on research participant narratives, archival research, and fieldwork in Canada and the Philippines to explain the link between Filipino religious beliefs and practices, migration and belonging.

In particular she will discuss research findings that most Filipinos remain Catholic after migration and define themselves religiously through public and private devotion and practices and through affiliations to certain churches, deities, saints, groups, and festivals.

She will pay particular attention to the religious underside—the beliefs and practices which are often hidden. These might be a special coin conferring blessings and protection – an anting-anting – buried deep in a pocket. At other times the underside refers to private devotional or healing practices, including songs, prayers to religious and non-religious figures such as Santo Niño and Dr José Rizal, pilgrimages, and actual embraces of a saint’s image for intercession.

In Canada, Santo Niño devotion at church and beyond it, along with Catholicism, has provided Filipinos with a nationalist spiritual identity that has enabled them to live apart from kin. The talk will end with a discussion of the future of Filipino religiosity in Canada.


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