More Islamic Than We Admit: Insights into Philippine Cultural History

Cover: Hardcover


More Islamic Than We Admit: Insights into Philippine Cultural History
Edited by Isaac Donoso

Islam was the first cultural trend in the archipelago and Islamic culture had and has a dramatic role in Philippine civilization. Despite being known as the only predominantly Christian country in Asia, the Philippines was similarly the easternmost edge of the classical Islamic world. The contact with the Spaniards and the legacy of al-Andalus will prove an essential element in defining Islamicity in the Philippines. Nowadays, modernity has triggered a conundrum of identity for Muslims in the Philippines. From armed conflict to new conversions, Filipino Muslims have struggled to define a coherent history in the context of Asia. This book is an attempt to analyze in a broad sense the capital elements towards an Islamic identity in the Philippine islands, in order to have a synopsis that can reconcile Philippine Islam within the history of Islamic civilization.

© 2018


More Islamic than We Admit is an astonishingly multifaceted and pioneering exploration into the forgotten history of Islam in the Philippines from a truly global perspective. As a whole, it provides a rich tapestry of linguistic, historical, art-historical, anthropological and theological threads and as such pays tribute to the wide variety of Islamic culture in the Philippines.

—Jos Gommans, Leiden University, Netherlands


The volume More Islamic than We Admit is really an excellent collection of articles written by fourteen Muslim and non-Muslim scholars documenting a whole range studies, from practically the earliest beginnings of the Islamization of Sulu and Mindanao (pre-contact period of the Sulu archipelago, Hindu-Buddhistic concepts), locating them in the context of Islamic traditions from Arabia (Abbasid Caliphate), Island Southeast Asia, and China, to Southern Philippines. Truly it can be said that the Philippines was “culturally fostered by both Islam and Christianity.”

—Bernardita Reyes Churchill, Philippine National Historical Society



Isaac Donoso holds a doctorate in Islamic studies and master's degrees in humanities and in Hispanic philology from the University of Alicante in Spain. He also has master's degree in Islamic studies from the University of the Philippines and in music from the University of the La Rioja in Spain. In 2004 and 2008 he was awarded the research prize Ibn al-Abbar, the most important Spanish award for Islamic studies. His published works include Islamic For East: Ethnogenesis of Philippine Islam (2013), as well as a critical edition of José Rizal's Noli me tangere (2011) and prose works (2012), and of Jesús Balmori's novelLos párajos de fuego (2010). He also edited the volumes More Hispanic than We Admit: Insights into Philippine Cultural History (2008) and Historia culturalde la lengua española en Filipinas: ayer y hoy (2012). He currently teaches at the University of Alicante.

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