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Maria Clara in the Twenty-first Century: The Uneasy Discourse between the Cult of the Virgin Mary and Filipino Women’s Lived Realities

Issue: Vol 36 No. 2 (2017) Religious Studies and Theology

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.35155


The Virgin Mary looms large as the image of a “good” Filipina or Filipino woman in both cultural and religious landscapes in the Philippines. A “good Filipina” imagery points specifically to the weak or passive woman, who is represented by a satirical character named Maria Clara. The Roman Catholic Church reinforces such imagery to highlight the Madonna-Whore dichotomy. However, in the twenty-first century, Filipino women have come to challenge the image of a good woman as weak and passive person. This paper explores the challenges that Filipinas face in their everyday lives, which call for a re-examination of the role of Catholic faith in their lived experiences.

Author: Jeane C. Peracullo

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