Public Lecture by Deirdre de la Cruz
January 3, 2023
The Divinity School is pleased to announce a public lecture by Deirdre de la Cruz: "Magicians of God: Global Christianity and the Making of Filipino Faith Healing."
This lecture will be on Wednesday January 18, at 4:30pm in our Common Room.
This talk draws from my current book project on faith healing in Filipino Christian Spiritism, a religion founded in the early twentieth century that draws from the Philippines’ centuries-deep tradition of majority Catholicism, a Pentecostalist emphasis on the Holy Spirit, and modern Spiritist doctrine derived from the codified philosophy of French educator Allan Kardec. Continuing a scholarly trajectory that critically engages Christianity’s global dimensions from the vantage point of Filipino religious history and cultures, this research examines Filipino Christian Spiritism as both product and producer of beliefs in the “paranormal” and “metaphysical” discourses and spiritualities worldwide. Via a discussion of a few of Filipino Christian Spiritism’s most unique practices, interlocutors, and events in its history, I will offer several distinct approaches to the emergent field of “Global Christianity.”
Deirdre de la Cruz is Associate Professor of History and Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. She earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Columbia University. Professor de la Cruz is an historian and cultural anthropologist of the Philippines, with an interest in the transformation of religious sensibilities, beliefs, and phenomena in modernity.. She is the author of the book Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal (University of Chicago Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the AAR’s Best Book in the Analytical-Descriptive Category. Her current projects include a scholarly book on the history of faith healing in the Philippines, an edited volume on religious diversity in the Philippines, and an interdisciplinary collaboration of University of Michigan faculty, curators, and students which aims to develop reparative and decolonial approaches to U of M’s vast collection of Philippine archival and museum materials, which she co-directs.