2015 Symposium – Details and Speakers


January 20, 2015


The Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS) will host a symposium on May 22-24, 2015 in Glouster, Ohio around the theme, “Bridging Filipino Indigenous and Christian Traditions of Spirituality.” The line up of keynote speakers is led by Fr. Albert S. Alejo, S.J., a Filipino poet/philosopher, peacemaker and mediator in many interfaith dialogues, and advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights. Among others, Fr. Alejo will talk about the Filipino concept of Loob (inner self) as it connects with Kapwa (shared being) and how it gives rise to our unique expressions of Filipino personhood and spirituality. Other speakers include Carmen Manalac Scheurman, a descendant of an Aeta healer, who is also now a Methodist pastor tutored by an Aeta community in Pampanga in their indigenous spiritual traditions, and James Perkinson, an educator and theologian whose main work, in partnership with S. Lily Mendoza, deals with revealing the indigenous roots of Christianity before it was co-opted by empire.

The symposium will also feature stories and testimonies of Filipino and Filipino American Christians who have reclaimed or are in the process of reclaiming their indigenous spirituality. We will hear reports on the experiences of Christianized Indigenous tribal members on various ways of navigating their Christianization in interrelationship with their own indigenous spiritual traditions. We will also hear stories about the influence of Christian missions on indigenous peoples. Furthermore, we will revisit Christianity’s roots as a re-indigenizing movement in the Middle East. Deciphering the “indigenous” in Christian and native forms.

The symposium is also the site where Ifugao Mombaki/shaman, Mamerto Tindongan, is building the Traditional Ifugao Healing Hut on his land after receiving a vision that he should build this hut and perform a ritual of healing and reconciliation on the site of the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair where tribal Filipinos were taken to be displayed as savages and barbarians as justification for the U.S.’ civilizing mission and occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century. His vision is to bring together the descendants of those who were involved in this project to heal the aftermath of colonial trauma.

The symposium is limited to 40 participants and application to attend is now open.
Visit the CfBS website: http://www.babaylan.net/events/2015-symposium/registration/

Anyone interested in exploring the theme of the symposium is welcome to apply.

Contact: Jennifer Maramba, email: jmaramba@babaylan.net; Lily Mendoza, email: mendoza@oakland.edu