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Our Beginnings

From the initiative of Prof. Esmeralda Sanchez (now PASR President) and a few others during the parallel session “Religion and Philippine Society” at the National Conference of the Philippine Sociological Society on 20-21 October 2006 in De La Salle University, the Philippine Association for the Sociology of Religion, or simply PASR, was established as the first and only professional organization devoted to the sociological study of religion.

The first meeting was held at the University of Santo Tomas on 10 November 2006, followed by subsequent meetings that spelled out the organization’s goals, vision-mission and organizational structure. On 13-14 January 2007, members participated in a workshop in Binangonan, Rizal to formulate the foundational aspects of PASR.

On May 21, 2007, the organization was formally incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a non-stock, non-profit organization existing under the laws of the Philippines.

Members of the organization come from the ranks of the different disciplines in the academe, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), all motivated by the interest to explore the dynamics of religion in the different facets and areas of Philippine society.

 What is Religion to us?

Our attempt to study about and understand religion is located within the broader sociological frames of reference in a spirit of open and willing engagement with other disciplines. As a learning community, we aim to engage available perspectives in sociology and other social sciences in order to highlight the dynamics of religion and its interaction with the larger society. In doing this, we endeavor to bring the sociology of religion to the wider public, believing that it contributes toward the formation of opinions and selection of courses of action in people’s lives.

Religion can be defined in different ways, depending on what perspective one takes in understanding it. Following themes and perspectives in sociology, we regard religion as a social thing, that in the process of knowing about religious realities in society, one becomes aware that religion is about an artifact  and a discourse. As an artifact, religion is a constituted reality in society, being produced and re-produced in the endless interplay of social structures, culture and agency. As a discourse, religion is a constituting reality, a means through which meanings are produced, shared, validated and legitimated by social agents.


To be a Filipino epistemic community in the sociology of religion


  1. To pioneer the institutional practice of the sociology of religion in the Philippines through research, publications, conferences & forging international linkages;
  2. To bring the sociology of religion & its broader implications on cultures & social worlds to public awareness; and
  3. To cultivate & celebrate diversified unity through democratic, creative & participative processes that guarantee full recognition and respect for our individual, creative, professional & cultural differences.

Founding Members:

Esmeralda F. Sanchez, Ph.D.
Institute of Religion, University of Santo Tomas

Emmanuel D. Batoon, M.A.
Faculty of Arts and Letters, University of Santo Tomas
Vice President

Virgilio A. Rivas, M.A.
Institute of Social History/Research Institute for Politics & Economics, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Acting Secretary

Hadje C. Sadje
Undergraduate student, Department of Sociology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila
Acting Treasurer

Precious E. Velasquez, M.A. (units)
Sagip Pasig Movement
Public Relations Officer

Cristita A. Mallari, M.A.
Department of Sociology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila

Vivencio O. Ballano, Ph.D.
College of Arts, Education & Sciences, St. Paul University, Quezon City

Patria Gwen M.L. Borcena, M.A.
Alternative Research for Empowerment, Quezon City

Emanuel C. De Guzman, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila

Eduardo M. Domingo, Ed.D.
Theology & Religious Education Department, De La Salle University

Manuel Victor J. Sapitula, M.A.
Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore

Alon D. Delos Reyes,
Graduate student, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ateneo de Manila University


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