The ancestral sensorium and the city: reflections on religion, environmentalism and citizenship in the Philippines

Authored by: Paul-François Tremlett

The Handbook of Contemporary Animism

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9781844657117
eBook ISBN: 9781315728964
Adobe ISBN: 9781317544500


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This chapter is based on fieldwork conducted in the Philippines in the summer of 2010 around the problematic of religion, environmentalism and citizenship. The immediate background to the research included the BP oil spill in the US, mudslides in China, floods in Pakistan and a heat wave in Russia that destroyed a significant portion of the wheat harvest. During the period I was conducting the research, Filipino newspapers – like British newspapers – ran a number of stories that questioned whether these phenomena were interrelated, and the role of human beings in causing or contributing to – or not – these events. 1 Moreover, during the period of my research a number of stories appeared in the Filipino press relating to more properly local environmental issues such as opposition to mining and alleged desecration of ancestral burial grounds by cement companies. 2

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