cover of book

Unconventional Sisterhood: Feminist Catholic Nuns in the Philippines
by Heather Lynn Claussen
University of Michigan Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-472-11221-0
Library of Congress Classification BX4406.6.Z5P63 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 271.97

Unconventional Sisterhood is an ethnographic exploration of the ways in which Filipina Missionary Benedictine Sisters are renegotiating traditional understandings of gender, religious responsibility, and national identity in the context of a rapidly globalizing nation. Unlike the popular stereotypes of staid sisters cloaked in rigid religious dogmatism, they are doing so by telling jokes, engaging in eclectic religious rituals, maintaining connections with a local nationalist cult, and committing themselves to a radical and feminist politics.
This work represents an important addition to scholarship on Philippine feminism. It is one of few ethnographies that focuses on female monasticism--of particular cultural importance in the Christian Philippines, where nuns enjoy relatively high social status and freedom from many of the traditional constraints delineating Filipina lives. It is noteworthy as well for its focus on metropolitan Manila--a socially complex, dynamic, diverse, and understudied environment.
Heather L. Claussen is an anthropologist currently living in Santa Cruz, California.

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