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Missions II

B088
Session Chair: N.N. | Thursday, August 27, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Gabriel Luna

Visita Iglesia: A Filipino Lenten Practice in Cagayan Valley, Region 02, Philippines

Religious landmarks in Cagayan Valley Region 02 do not only serve as tourist attraction but also a place of worship during Lenten Season specifically during Visita Iglesia. .The researcher utilizes participant observation, and in-depth interview. Thirty-five (35) Church workers and 42 religious devotees were interviewed. Findings reveal that majority of the respondents who observed the cultural practice of Visita Iglesia belong to the age bracket ranging from 40-65 years old, female, professionals, and with high income. The reasons why devotees observed Visita Iglesia ranked accordingly as follows: to ask for favor, forgiveness,of sins, to follow family tradition, to express gratitude, to comply with someone’s request, and to atone for a misdeed. Clearly, the reasons are more personal than cultural, but the devotion itself is enhanced and sustained by the culture. The customary practices in relation to a religious devotion serve more as social functions rather than as theologically motivated practices.

Alberto Paala, Jr.

Mill Hill Missionaries: A Century of Love and Service in the Philippines, 1906-2006

This research paper is entitled Mill Hill Missionaries: A Century of Love and Service in the Philippines, 1906-2006. MHM is a congregation of priests based in Mill Hill, London, United Kingdom that arrived in the Philippines in 1906 to counter the rising influence of Protestantism. The objectives of the study are the following: to trace the history of MHM as an institution since it was founded by Herbert Vaughan in Mill Hill London in 1868 until they arrived in the Philippines in 1906; to assess the achievements of the congregation within 100 years of service in the Philippines; and to show the challenges encountered by the missionaries and their role in nation building in the 20th century Philippines.

Maryse Kruithof

Adaptation in mission communities

Dutch missionaries active in nineteenth century Java witnessed their followers internalizing Christian beliefs into their lives and they noticed that previous traditions were often still present. They were aware that the dominant Dutch mission discourse insisted on avoiding localized expressions of Christianity, but every missionary had to recognise that Christianity in Java could not be an identical translation of that in the Netherlands. They all had to relent and include some of the local customs in the communities they led. According to the dominant mission discourse, practices that could be considered ‘cultural’ could be allowed, but non-Christian ‘religious’ practices had to be banned. There was, however, no unanimity about where the border between those two categories should be exactly. My aim with this paper is to show how the Dutch missionaries negotiated the dominant discourse on religion in order to justify their choices to include certain practices and beliefs.

Jana Valtrová

Medieval Christian Missions to Asia: Shifting Strategies and Goals

The paper presents major shifts in the development of medieval Christian missionary efforts which were made during the 13th and 14th centuries in Asia by Franciscan and Dominican friars. Reports of such missionaries as William of Rubruck, John of Plano Carpini, John of Montecorvino, Jordan of Catala and others are used as sources for this analysis. The main aim of the paper is to show transformation of missionary strategies as a process of more or less successful adaptation of particular missionaries in new cultural and religious environment, their flexibility and ability to focus on a prospective group of converts. In connection to this process not only the missionary strategies changed, but also their original goals were redefined. Representation of these goals, original and new ones, within the context of missionary reports and their desired effect on European audience is also discussed.

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