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Editorial: Solidarity, conflict, and relative truths

Living with religion is seeing the world as differing social realities. Religion as a concept has always been a point of interest in sociology and anthropology. In classical thought, religion has been interpreted in many ways. For instance, Karl Marx argued that religion is the opium of the masses – it alleviates the suffering of people and gives them hope for a better life beyond this world. Emile Durkheim asserted that religion is a collective expression of consciousness by which people perceive a force that is greater than them. Max Weber, on the other hand, saw religion as something to be studied based on the meanings attributed to it by the individual. There is a diversity of beliefs in our social world. As social beings, our identities and expressions, religious or otherwise, are influenced by the group. But regardless of a person’s religious background, finding meaning in its values and acting based on its tenets are done as individuals. And these have consequences. Religion, as a significant field in sociology and anthropology, does not seek …

Spatial assertions and the Iglesia ni Cristo’s quest for power

While we can say that the EDSA revolution per se was also an imposition of popular meanings on the landscape, given that revolutions are constitutional violations, the particular space appropriated by INC members is one that has been intentionally and officially carved out to memorialize a significant national event. And as the space includes both a Catholic church and the statue of Mary, use of the space by any other religious group becomes first, a deliberate proclamation of the notion that such religion deserves to be mainstreamed.

The Rohingya Crisis: Notes on ASEAN, Power, and Identity

The Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s (ASEAN) seeming inaction on the Rohingya crisis came as a shock to many. However, for those who have been observing ASEAN development, its failure to enact a coherent policy towards the Rohingya crisis only adds to the long list of matters it failed to address such as the “Cambodian Problem,” the South China Sea Dispute, and many others.