Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines:
Young People Reinterpreting Religion (Routledge, 2016)
Published under the Routledge Religion in Contemporary Asia Series
This book, based on extensive original research, examines the nature of Catholicism in the contemporary Philippines. It shows how Catholicism is apparently flourishing, with good attendance at Sunday Masses, impressive religious processions and flourishing charismatic groups, and with interventions by the Catholic hierarchy in national and local politics. However, focusing in particular on the beliefs and practices of young people, the book shows that young people are often adopting a different, more individualised approach to Catholicism. It considers the features of this: a more personal and experiential relationship with God; a new approach to morality, in which right living is seen as more important than right believing; and a critical view of what is seen as the Catholic hierarchy’s misguidedness. The book argues that this reinterpreting of religion by young people has the potential to alter fundamentally the nature of Catholicism in the Philippines, but that, nevertheless, young people’s new approach involves a solid, enduring commitment and a strong view of their own Catholic, religious identity.
Jayeel Serrano Cornelio is Director and Assistant Professor of the Development Studies Program at the Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.