From Hiya to Dangal: A Critique of John Paul II’s theological anthropology in light of the experience of Filipino women




In 1988, John Paul II wrote on the dignity and vocation of women, anddeveloped his view of the “equal but complementary” status and role of men andwomen. This article seeks to juxtapose John Paul II’s theological anthropologyin light of the situation of Filipino women, framing the discussion within thedynamics of the Filipino cultural traits of hiya (shame) and dangal (honor).The article depicts the tension within John Paul II’s anthropology, discussingthe ways in which his anthropology is helpful in allowing Filipino women todiscover their dangal, and the ways in which it is detrimental to her, allowingher to remain in her hiya. Though the primary focus is on the experience ofFilipino women, recasting the virtues that Filipino women might seek, thearticle seeks a shared vision for all Filipino women and men, exposing pathsto fuller dignity for all.

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