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Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines

Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines


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Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: March 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521646222

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • What kind of reciprocity exists between unequal partners? How can a 'culture' which makes no attempt to defend unchanging traditions be understood as such? In the Christian Philippines, inequalities - global and local - are negotiated through idioms of persuasion, reluctance and pity. Fenella Cannell's study suggests that these are the idioms of a culture which does not need to represent itself as immutable. Her account of Philippine spirit-mediumship, Catholicism, transvestite beauty contests, and marriage in Bicol calls for a reassessment of our understanding of South-East Asian modernity. Combining a strong theoretical interest in the anthropology of religion with a broader comparative attention to recent developments in South-East Asian studies, she offers a powerful alternative to existing interpretations of the relationship between culture and tradition in the region and beyond. This book addresses not only South-East Asianists, but all those with an interest in the anthropology of religion and post-colonial cultures. Power and Intimacy in the Christian Phillipines has won the Harry J. Benda prize for 2001.

    • Original material which is considered innovatory, influential, and pioneering by other specialists in this field
    • Draws on and synthesises approaches from British and American anthropology
    • Has a much wider scope than most monographs and is elegantly written
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    • Power and Intimacy in the Christian Phillipines has won the Harry J. Benda prize given by The Association of Asian Studies for 2001

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This ethnography by Fenella Cannell is a well-written, well-presented, finely crafted piece of work.' The Journal of Asian Studies

    'Cannell's book is a most welcome contribution.' Anthropos

    '… a meticulous, intricate and thought-provoking ethnographic study …' Aseasuk News

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521646222
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Note on language and names
    Introduction: mountains and plains
    Part I. Marriage:
    1. Marriage stories: speaking of reluctance and control
    2. Kinship and the ritualisation of marriage
    Part II. Healing and the Spirits:
    3. Introduction: healing and the 'people who have nothing'
    4. Spirit mediums and spirit-companions
    5. Spirit mediums and seance forms: changing relations to the spirit world
    6. Coda: the birthday-parties of the spirits
    Part III. Saints and the Dead:
    7. The living and the dead
    8. The funeral of the 'dead Christ'
    9. Kinship, reciprocity and devotions to the saints
    Part IV. Beauty Contests:
    10. Beauty and the idea of 'America'
    11. Conclusion: oppression, pity and transformation

  • Author

    Fenella Cannell, London School of Economics and Political Science


    • Power and Intimacy in the Christian Phillipines has won the Harry J. Benda prize given by The Association of Asian Studies for 2001

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