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Rituale des Schmerzes im europäischen und philippinischen Christentum
Selbstgeißelungen und Selbstkreuzigungen – für den westlichen Blick ebenso spektakulär wie erschreckend – sind feste Bestandteile österlicher Passionsbräuche auf den Philippinen. Alljährlich strömen Tausende von Menschen zusammen, um blutigen Kasteiungen beizuwohnen oder zu verfolgen wie sich Männer und Frauen im Nachvollzug des Leidenswege Christi ans Kreuz nageln lassen. Um solche Praktiken ritueller Selbstverletzung zu verstehen, ist zunächst eine religionshistorische Spurensuche erforderlich, die grundlegende Zusammenhänge von Körper, Schmerz und Christentum, von Leiden und Leidensgeschichte, von Imagination und Affekt rekonstruiert. Sich selbst freiwillig Schmerz zuzufügen erweist sich dabei als keineswegs urchristlich, sondern wird erst ab dem Mittelalter als Askesepraxis propagiert und später in die kolonialen Peripherien exportiert. Der Verfasser hat sich selbst auf den Weg gemacht und dokumentiert eindrücklich in Wort und Bild, was auf den Philippinen pasyon genannt wird. Das vorliegende Buch kombiniert religionshistorische Recherche und ethnographische Feldstudie. Es eröffnet Zugänge zu einer Innensicht des philippinischen Christentums, erschließt seine Binnenlogik und die Wechselbeziehungen von kolonialer Macht und lokalen Verhältnissen. Die Zusammenführung von Ethnologie und historischer Anthropologie zeigt, unter welchen Bedingungen sich Religion in der philippinischen Moderne artikuliert. Darüber hinaus wird hier ein wichtiger Beitrag zur Theoriedebatte über Körperlichkeit, Gewalt und Religion geleistet.

In recent years, the “material turn” has gained prominence in the humanities and social sciences, and it has also stimulated a shift toward a rediscovery of materiality in the scientific study of religion\s. The material turn aims to dissolve conventional dichotomies and, by emphasizing the concept of assemblage, insists that humans and things are fundamentally co-constitutive. This “New Materialism” addresses ontological alterity, and it radically decenters static anthropocentric arrangements and the position of the human subject as such. The insider–outsider distinction, however, as well as the emic–etic categorization, are based on fundamental dichotomies between the researcher and the researched, and between descriptive and analytical understandings of human beings. This article discusses the possibility and significance of a non-anthropocentric approach to religion, and examines to what extent it is analytically helpful to apply the insider–outsider and emic–etic distinctions while pursuing the goal of dissolving hierarchical and binary thinking. It furthermore argues that these issues can be properly answered only with reference to their methodological implications.

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Philippine Catholicism is usually seen as a variant of a non-European Christianity, which was formerly introduced by Spanish missionaries and colonizers into the Philippine Archipelago. Philippine passion rituals, especially self-flagellation and rites of crucifixion, are commonly interpreted as bizarre phenomena of a pre-modern folk-religiosity or archaic survivals of ‘our’ past, or as a post-colonial mimicry of European religious history. The perspective on Philippine Christianity is always governed by European discourses, whether religious, scientific, or common sense. This paper is an attempt to question dichotomies such as ‘European’ and ‘non-European,’ ‘modern’ and ‘pre-modern,’ ‘authentic’ and ‘inauthentic,’ etc. In the study of religion such dichotomies, I argue, create problems of conceptualizing diversity within one religious tradition and behind such distinctions lurks the implicit self-perception of the West of being exemplary ‘modern.’ I use Philippine passion rituals as a hermeneutic challenge. Crucifixions are analyzed as media events and from the actor’s perspective, by historicizing the missionary encounter, and by scrutinizing concepts such as ‘syncretism’ and ‘identity.’ ‘Translation’ and the ‘histoire croisée’ approach are proposed as helpful analytical tools for the study of Christianity.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

In his famous study ,,Islam Observed," Clifford Geertz poses general critical questions for the study of religion. Taking Geertz's critique and the question ,,what is Islam?" as starting points, this paper explores problems caused by misleading dichotomies such as ,,great" and ,,little" traditions, ,,oral/literal," ,,folk/orthodoxy," etc. Instead of perpetuating the idea of a ,,true Islam," concepts such as ,,discursive tradition," ,,frame of reference," and ,,translocalisation" are employed in order to dissolve the particularuniversal antagonism following several recent (trans-)local studies of Islam.

In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte
In: Passion/Pasyon
In: Passion/Pasyon
In: Passion/Pasyon