PILOT RESEARCH PROJECTS

 
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GLOBAL ASIAN CATHOLICISM

Due to migration, marriage, education, and numerous factors, Asian Catholics are not only in Asia but all around the globe. They contribute to societies and churches outside of their home country. 

This multi-ethnic research project explores Asian Catholic diasporas around the globe and investigates issues related to their ethnoreligious identities as well as their socio-economic journeys. 

To know more: 

DIGITIZING ASIAN CATHOLIC ARCHIVES

Asian Catholic individuals, families, and institutions keep various documents of great historical significance. Those documents can be an important source of information to understand the socio-demographic past of their region, the economic transformation of specific countries and populations, and the evolution of religious practices and ideas. However, many of those documents are in danger. Their primary support can be fragile and their condition of preservation precarious.

Thus, ISAC is committed to using new technologies in order to help individuals, families, and institutions to digitize these materials. In partnership with the Maritime Asia Historical Survey, ISAC is working at elaborating a replicable model that will help Asian Catholic individuals, families, and institutions to safely preserve and better share data about their past.

Several projects are under discussion.

Contact: Shanthini Pillai

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ASIAN MARIANISM

A rich and diversify scholarship suggests that the Virgin Mary has been the focus of intense religious attention and cultural adaptations across Asia. In many countries, Mary is represented through local features that echo national identity, traditional practices, local gender norms, historical events, etc. Furthermore, the mother of Jesus of Nazareth is not only venerated by Catholics but also by numerous Asian Muslims, Caodaists, and Hindus. Thus, Asian practices and discourses surrounding Mary stand as a rich object of study to discuss ethnic and religious identities, gender ideals, social structures, history, etc.

The Asian Marianism pilot research project brings together a global network of collaborators to document how Mary is approached and venerated by Asian people. Researchers will gather information about related practices and discourses, as well as about their circulations around the globe, in order to generate a searchable and online database. 

Contact: Thien Huong Ninh

CATHOLIC TOMBS IN CONTEMPORARY ASIA

Tombs and cemeteries are sites of religious rituals, family gatherings, collective memory, and artistic expressions. Texts and epigraphs carved on gravestones provide also critical information about the social networks and cosmologies in which they are embedded. Furthermore, their surrounding construction of space and the display of specific symbols and statues add layers of meaning and agency. Thus, tombs and cemeteries are vocal witnesses of the individual and collective life and death of Asian Catholics.

The Catholic Tombs in Contemporary Asia pilot research project brings together a vast network of researchers and collaborators to document the location, material features, and epigraphs of Asian Catholic tombs. The project is designed to generate a searchable and online database that could be used by other researchers.

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ATI ATIHAN

A short documentary presenting the famous Filipino festival celebrating Santo Niño.

Produced by Simon Woods (with Professor William Peterson, member of ISAC Scientific Committee)