Peasant Resistance and Religious Protests in Early Philippine Society: Turning Friars Against the Grain

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Abstract:

One of the most important contributions to the study of religious resistance and rural rebellions in the Philippines has come from the works of nationalist scholars. They have shown that peasant revolts that have been widely studied cannot be constructively understood without considering their precolonial origins. This essay examines the role of religion in rural revolts in terms of its broader historical connections. It reviews some of the pre-Hispanic continuities in the selection of authentic leaders in the Philippines during the early Spanish period. It concludes that Christianity was localized not simply because it was imposed but because it was propagated by a small group of radicalized, educated friars meeting some of the indigenous criteria for effective leadership. These friars were some of the early ancestors of today’s liberation theologians.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-5906.00101

Affiliations: California State University San Bernardino knadeau@csusb.edu

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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