All posts filed under: Religion

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.

Filipino Weddings: Beyond Bride and Groom

The point is: weddings enable and constrain, and I feel most couples prefer a ceremony that’s more enabling than constraining. The choice of some couples to defray all wedding expenses (as was the case in the two weddings I attended) is a subtle attempt of bride and groom to lessen that constraint, wield a little power, and assert their independence. (Image from