The case of Seberina Candelaria is about how power is abstracted in a rural community during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Philippines. It argues that the forms and symbols of Christianity, far from overturning the previous belief systems, had themselves been appropriated and incorporated within a pre-Hispanic mythology and tradition of mainly female priestesses. The result was neither wholly indigenous nor wholly exotic but the formation of a hybrid cosmology. Moreover, this cosmology was, in some ways, even further removed from the ideas of the Enlightenment than the Christianity of the early missionary fathers, who had at least shared with their converts more of a belief in the supernatural means of manipulating reality.

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pp. 37-55
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