There is no female religious figure so widely known and revered as the Virgin Mary. Filipino Catholics are especially drawn to Mama Mary and have a strong belief in her power, including her ability to appear to her followers. In Mother Figured: Marian Apparitions and the Making of a Filipino Universal
(University of Chicago Press, 2015), historical anthropologist Deirdre de la Cruz
offers a detailed examination of Filipino interactions with Marian apparitions and miracles. By analyzing the effects of mass media on the perception and proliferation of these phenomena, de la Cruz charts the emergence of voices in the Philippines that are broadcasting Marian discourse globally. She traces a shift from local to national to transnational contexts, and from the representational to the virtual - in short, Mother Figured
explores what Mary tells us about becoming modern.
Deirdre de la Cruz is assistant professor of Southeast Asian studies and history at the University of Michigan.