Assoc. Prof. Arvin D. Eballo, PhD of the Institute of Religion was named one of the recipients of the Mendel Fellowship in Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America. Eballo will study in the Lilly Library using the Bernardo Mendel collections from June 4 – July 31, 2018.

Eballo’s research will look into old religious literature on Tagalog catechisms found in the Mendel collections. Specifically, he will look at works like Juan de Oliver’s Declaracion de la Doctrina Christina en Idioma Tagalog, in an attempt to “reconstruct the ancient Katagalugan worldview necessary in understanding the culture and identity of the ancient Tagalogs.

Eballo will employ a tripartite framework rooted on the 3 important stages of the research undertaking such as revisiting, reconstructing and reclaiming. The first stage is about revisiting the Tagalog Catechisms and other Church documents existed during the Spanish Colonial period in the Philippines available at Mendel’s collections. The next stage is when the proponent reflects and reconstructs the ancient Katagalugan worldview based on that said extant manuscripts. The third stage is when the proponent inspires the Filipinos to reclaim their national pride and proclaim their unique identity necessary to nation-building.

This research article is descriptive and archival in nature. Analytical history and textual analysis are employed in examining the old Tagalog Catechisms and religious literature available at Mendel’s collections. The proponent will also utilize a deconstruction method inspired by Jacques Derrida. It is a logical analysis of the text attempting to decipher the original meaning. In this research, the proponent will peel off the Spanish and Christian elements that have been added through the course of the centuries by the missionaries to reconstruct the Tagalog precolonial worldview.

Established through a bequest by the estate of Johanna Lenz Mendel in 1998, the Mendel Fellowships are intended to support research by scholars from around the world in areas of particular interest to the Mendels, including: the history of the Spanish Colonial Empire; Latin American independence movements; European expansion in the Americas; voyages, travels and exploration; geography, navigation and cartography; German literature and history; and music, including sheet music. The amount of the stipend is based on the length of stay, which may range from one week to a full academic year. The fellowship is intended to cover travel to the Lilly Library and living expenses while in residence.

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