Jean-Luc Marion’s Phenomenology of the Icon as an Apologia for Quiapo’s Black Nazarene Traslación

Prajñā Vihāra: Journal of Philosophy and Religion 20 (2):13-31 (2019)
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The Traslación of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Philippines conducts its rites and practices as a devotion outside the liturgy of the Catholic Church. As a popular religious practice widely known and attended by millions, it has become considered a religious phenomenon, attesting to the religiosity of Filipinos and their patient endurance for God. However, this religious practice is also condemned as idolatry, as one finds with reference to the golden calf in Exodus 32:4. In this paper, I create an apologia for this devotion using Jean-Luc Marion’s concept of the icon. To do this I will first describe the various critiques of idolatry and iconography within the church and consider some of the negative interpretations of this devotion. Then I will consider the Traslación in relation to Marion’s project. Finally, I will present the apologia itself. This paper provides a defense of various kinds of Filipino devotion which addresses the idolatry critique and respects the rich religiosity of these devotions.

Author's Profile

Jan Gresil Kahambing
University of Macau


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