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Accepted Paper:

The 'Mama Mary' of the white city's black underside: reflections on a Filipina domestic workers' block rosary in Tel Aviv, Israel  
Claudia Liebelt (FU Berlin)

Paper long abstract:

Each Friday, a group of Filipina Catholic domestic workers carries a figure of Our Lady of Fatima through the socially and economically deprived neighbourhoods of southern Tel Aviv, where most of them live. As the icon is carried from home to home, she sanctifies these homes and the urban space, hears the women's petitions, creates a community of devotees, and does miracles, so they believe. On the background of the troubled neighbourhood's Friday nightlife and the migrants' own life turbulences, 'Mama Mary,' as she is tenderly addressed, comes to stand for compassion, refuge, and protection. While their fervent Marian devotion attracts little interest from Jewish residents, it has produced tensions with the local clergy. Based on ethnographic research in Israel and the Philippines, my paper provides a fascinating analysis of lived Catholicism in the context of transnational mobility and diaspora.

Panel W032
Ethnographies of Catholicism
  Session 1