Response to Death: The Powerful Influence of Assumptions, Relationships and Ritual on the Balangao Christians in the Philippines

West, Amy C. (2007) Response to Death: The Powerful Influence of Assumptions, Relationships and Ritual on the Balangao Christians in the Philippines. Doctoral thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Intercultural Studies.

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Crisis events reveal the depths of peoples' ideas and interests and tap into the well of their emotions. This dissertation focuses on the crisis of death in Balangao and their response to it. At a death the family must not only deal with their grief and loss but also relate properly to their social and their spiritual networks throughout the wake, the burial and the post-burial events. The current transformation of Balangao ideas and their responses to death suggests the need for intentional and well-defined involvement by the community of Christians. Part I describes the focus used in the research as well as the methodology of semistructured interviews and, to validate responses in the interviews, semistructured focus groups. Part II delineates the theoretical framework drawn mainly from the Ideas/Interests theory of Sherwood Lingenfelter and the Framework for the Analysis of Religious Systems of Paul Hiebert, R. Daniel Shaw and Tite Tienou. Merging these two theories I developed a Cubed Framework through which to analyze the Balangao ritual response to death. Part III delineates cultural themes drawn from the analysis of the data using the grid of the Cubed Framework. These themes have deeply connected emotions and are being strongly influenced by input from the traditional community, the outside world, and Christianity. Part IV provides a historical comparison with first century Christians living in an animistic culture in the Greco-Roman world and delineates lessons drawn from the analogy. Chapter 12 synthesizes those similarities with contemporary Balangao. Part V suggests three recommendations for a way forward for Balangao Christians. Using the Cubed Framework these recommendations seek to address the themes ideationally, relationally and ritually through encouraging the development of Communities of Moral Discourse, koinonia relationships, and ritual transformation. The community approach to transformation is both critical and emotionally vital in a group-oriented culture like Balangao. The group and meaningful rituals will help Christians stand firm in their relationship to God when a crisis intensifies pressures to conform to traditional ways that contradict their transformed ideas and interests.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Balangao, cultural performance, cultural performance criticism, cultural performance history, folklore, religion, rites and rituals
Depositing User: Machine Whisperer
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2017 05:57
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2017 05:57

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