flyer with Dr Cornelio

Wednesday, April 24 at 4pm
Center for Teaching and Learning in the CASE building
Please register online 

That the Philippines is the only Christian nation in Asia is a claim widely rehearsed in and about Philippine society. It is, for one, often found in media commentaries about Filipinos and their spectacular religiosity. Even state agencies resort to this characterization. Beginning with this vignette, this talk introduces the concept of 'theological nationalism', which refers to discursive claims made by religious groups about the Christian identity of the Philippines. They do so by invoking religious resources (like Scriptures and spiritual encounters) to argue for the divine destiny of the country as the only Christian nation in Asia. To this end, I will draw on discourses emanating not just from the Catholic Church but also other religious groups, including megachurches like Victory (Every Nation), evangelical churches like Jesus is Lord (JIL), and indigenous and Restorationist churches like Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC). The talk will highlight some of the consequences of theological nationalism for social and political life in the country.

By Jayeel Cornelio, PhD
Professor of Sociology and Development Studies at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines
Visiting Professor, Center for Asian Democracy, University of Louisville