Academic releases new book Bayanihan and Belonging: Filipinos and Religion in Canada

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  • Professor Alison Marshall of the Brandon University in Manitoba has a new book.

    The book titled Bayanihan and Belonging: Filipinos and Religion in Canada “seeks to understand the link between Filipino migrant settlement experiences in rural and urban Canada, and religion,” according to an abstract

    The book was published by the University of Toronto Press.

    The abstract said that the work “draws on archival research and participant narratives, surveys and fieldwork in Manitoba (Brandon, Carman, Fisher Branch, Gladstone, Neepawa, Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Oakbank, Pilot Mound, Portage La Prairie, Steinbach, Swan River, Virden and Winnipeg), British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, as well as in the Philippines”.

    “It highlights the important role of church life in urban migrant lives and home devotional practices in rural ones. Among the many findings in this study is that although a church or home shrine may provide belonging to migrants, it cannot make up for the racism of a town, city or employer,” according to the abstract.

    Marshall is a professor in the Department of Religion at Brandon University.

    According to a University of Toronto Press blurb: “Filipinos make up one of the largest immigrant groups in Canada and the majority continue to retain their Roman Catholic faith long after migrating. Drawing on archival and ethnographic research in Canada and the Philippines from 1880 to 2017, Bayanihan and Belonging aims to understand the role of religion within present-day Filipino Canadian communities.

    “With a focus on Winnipeg, home to Canada’s oldest and largest Filipino Canadian community, Alison R. Marshall showcases current church-based and domestic religious routines of migrant Filipinos. From St. Edward the Confessor Church, the principal site of worship for Filipino Catholics in Manitoba, to home chapels, and healing traditions, Marshall explores the day-to-day celebrations of bayanihan, or communal spirit. Drawing on experiences from Manitoba’s Filipino population, Bayanihan and Belonging reveals that religious practise fulfills not only a need for spiritual guidance, but also for community.”

    Peter Beyer of the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa wrote a review.

    “In this work, Alison Marshall once again renders visible a portion of Canada’s multicultural and religiously diverse mosaic that generally receives little attention in the literature or even in public discussion. Whereas in her previous work that group was the ethnically Chinese population of the pre-1970s era, here she shows the diversity and complexity of the histories and biographies of those who have come to Canada from the Philippines. In telling their stories and letting them tell their stories, with emphasis on what has been important to them in their settlement in Canada, Marshall goes beyond vague conceptions and stereotypes to recover and profile what may be lost or invisible. The book makes a genuine contribution and should be recommended to anyone who wants to see what diversity in our country actually looks like in person and on the ground,” Beyer wrote.

    Marshall is co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Religion and Migration Unit, and a former board member of the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre. Marshall’s current research examines Asian history, religion, and migration.

     

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