On 28 April 2017, the latest book by veteran Catholic activist Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR was launched at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University. Panagkutay: Anthropology and Theology Interfacing in Mindanao Uplands (The Lumad Homeland) is his third book to be published this year and chronicles his experiences and reflections in his work with indigenous peoples in Mindanao.
After a welcome address from Fr. Peter Pojol, SJ, and a message from the Institute of Spirituality in Asia read by Fr. Rico Ponce, reviews of the book were given by Dr. Mary Racelis of the Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology (DSA), Ms. Eizel Hilario Patino of Ugnayang Agham Tao (UGAT), and Fr. Eugene Canete, MJ of the Maryhill School of Theology, read by Ms. Judith Francia-Reyes of the Sister Myrna Francia Foundation. A musical intermission was provided by Mr. Lyon Lopez, a student of classical guitar at the University of Sto. Tomas, and Dr. Roberto Guevara of the Ateneo de Manila University’s Theology Department read two poems by Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ.
In his response Bro. Karl emphasized the need for social scientists and theologians to write and theorize the Philippine experience, whether from social scientific or theological perspectives. Bro. Karl Gaspar is the Dean of Studies at the St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute in Davao City, and also associated with the Ateneo de Davao University’s Ateneo Institute of Anthropology. JJCICSI was privileged to be one of many sponsors of the launch, alongside the Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, its Department of Theology, the Loyola School of Theology, and the Sacred Springs Dialogue Institute of Spirituality and Sustainability. Dr. Jose Jowel Canuday of the DSA served as the Master of Ceremonies.