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ISBN: PB: 9780226314914

ISBN: HB: 9780226314884

University of Chicago Press

November 2015

320 pp.

22.8x15.2 cm

20 halftones


Mother Figured

Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal

There is no female religious figure so widely known and revered as the Virgin Mary. Throughout history, Mary has inspired in a multitude of cultures around the world a deep affection, a desire to emulate her virtue, and a strong belief in the power of her apparitions and miracles. Perhaps no population has been so deeply affected by this maternal figure as Filipino Catholics, whose apparitions of Mary have increasingly emerged and responded to recent events, drawing from a broad repertoire of the Catholic supernatural as they draw media attention to the global south. In "Mother Figured", historical anthropologist Deirdre de la Cruz offers a detailed examination of several appearances and miracles of the Virgin Mary in the Philippines from materials and sites ranging from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. By analyzing the effects of the mass media on the perception and proliferation of apparition phenomena, de la Cruz charts the intriguing emergence of new voices in the Philippines that are broadcasting Marian discourse globally. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork and hitherto unexplored archives in the Philippines, the United States, and Spain, "Mother Figured" documents the conditions of Marian devotion's modern development and tracks how it has transformed Filipinos' social and political role within the greater Catholic world.


Note on Spelling


Part One: Images
Chapter One: The Authority of Appearances
Chapter Two: First Filipino Apparition

Part Two: Visions
Chapter Three: Mary, Mediatrix
Chapter Four: Petals for the Public

Part Three: Mass Movements
Chapter Five: Of Crusaders and Crowds
Chapter Six: Coincidence and Consequence



About the Author

Deirdre de la Cruz is assistant professor of Southeast Asian studies and history at the University of Michigan.