chapter  7
Indwelt individualisation: Creative Catholics and the emotional anthology of resources
Pages 23

Creative Catholics present a rather complex picture of young people and their faith these days. My informants are religiously involved because of their involvement in Catholic organisations. The type and level of involvement vary. They organise Eucharistic celebrations, run catechetical instructions, facilitate retreats and conduct outreach activities to depressed areas around Manila. Given these activities, these young people might be misconstrued as harbingers of traditional Catholic piety. After all, the greater majority of Catholic youth do not have their own religious involvement. The findings of this study portray a different picture, however. As the previous

chapters have progressively depicted, creative Catholics exhibit a religious identity that is in various ways self-defined and tacit, but pervasive nevertheless. In Chapter 4, I introduced some narratives that reveal the subjective character of what it means to be Catholic for them. Such personal religious meanings are then explored in detail in Chapter 5 as the key elements of their reflexive spirituality: a personal and experiential relationship with God, action-oriented relationality, and critique of their peers and the Catholic leadership. In Chapter 6, I have shown that their conservative moral attitudes towards issues in the Philippines today are in fact justified with liberal ideas in terms of relational commitment and self-authorising morality. In Chapter 2, I discussed the three religious trends in modernity that have

implications on individual religiosity: secularisation, sacralisation and individualisation (Woodhead and Heelas, 2000). Sacralisation especially by intensification suggests an awakening of religiosity from a state of indifference, but these young people have been involved for a long time. What the previous chapters have shown is that the religious identity of creative Catholics is largely selfdefined but nevertheless common among them. A case can hence be made for religious individualisation within Philippine Catholicism. This proposition responds to Pollack’s (2003) research agenda as to whether individualisation, a thesis based on the experience of religion in Western Europe, may be asked of religion in other settings. Broadly, the religious individualisation thesis proposes that as the social significance of organised religion declines in modernity, new forms of highly individualised religion may emerge and possibly replace the former (Pollack and Pickel, 2007). Therefore, in contrast to the claim of the secularisation thesis, religion does not fade away.