Popular Religion and the Turn to Everyday Authenticity: Reflections on the Contemporary Study of Philippine Catholicism

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The seminal works on everyday religion in the Philippines that appeared in the 1960s were motivated by pastoral concerns. Since the 1990s, however, there has been a growing interest in everyday religion as authentic expressions of what it means for individuals to be Catholic. This turn in the scholarship of social scientists and religious scholars has been driven less by the question of secularization than the demand for religion’s local relevance. This article explores the conditions under which the turn to authenticity has emerged in Philippine studies: the socioeconomic contexts, the expansion of the social sciences, the changing attitudes to religious institutions, and the emergence of local theological reflections.