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"'Postcolonial' Feminist Theologizing in the Philippines - A Critical Study of Mary Jane Mananzan, Judette Gallares, and Agnes Brazal"

Rachel Joyce Marie Sanchez (Philippines)

Doctor of Philosophy in Theology, with a field of concentration in Systematic Theology.
Adviser: Fr. Jose Mario Francisco, S.J., S.T.L., Ph.D.


The writings of Mary John Mananzan, Judette Gallares, and Agnes Brazal exhibit Philippine postcolonial theological reclamations in the context of a nation that is ever-becoming. However, they do so using different methodologies that present varying notions and representations of Filipinas in relation to Philippine identity and nationalism. This thesis investigates the interrelation between nation-building and feminism in the postcolonial feminist theologies of these three theologians based on an analysis of their works employing a three-fold schema of the types of postcolonial theologizing based on R.S. Sugirthrajah’s framework. It argues that the theologies of Mananzan, Gallares, and Brazal show that postcolonial feminist theologies in the Philippines are crucial to nation-building because these provide resistance and alternatives to the forms of machismo nationalism that intertwine with postcolonial resistance. This argument is developed through the following assertions: First, while Mananzan, Gallares, and Brazal all employ postcolonial feminist theologies in the Philippine context, they use varying approaches that can be understood using Sugirtharajah’s three-fold schema. Second, the different types of postcolonial reclamation can involve machismo nationalism in different ways. Third, the works of Mananzan, Gallares, and Brazal have shown how Philippine identity and nationalism can be valued while remaining critical of machismo nationalism and its false assumptions. Fourth, Mananzan, Gallares, and Brazal show, in different ways, how feminist theologizing based on Filipinas’ experiences and dialogue with culture and other disciplines can contribute to creative imagination, inclusivity amidst diversity, and responsiveness to change needed for building the Philippine nation. Insights from these Philippine feminist theologians lead to a critical appreciation of the complexity of postcoloniality, the recognition of diversity, and the promotion of solidarity towards nation-building.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: 22 March 2018

Board of Examiners: Dr. Patricia Lambino (Principal Examiner), Dr. Maricel Ibita, Fr. Jojo Fung, S.J., Ph.D., and Fr. Oliver Dy, S.J., S.T.D.

Proposal Defense:

October 7, 2015 (Wednesday), 3:00 pm, Institute of Social Justice Advocacy Room, 3rd Floor of LST

Board of Examiners: Agnes Brazal, Ph.D. (Adviser), Sabino Vengco, Jr., S.T.D., Fr. Fernando Macalinao, S.J., S.T.D.

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Loyola School of Theology