Death and Food Offering: The Ilocano “Atang” Ritual from a Contextual Theology
Atang (food offering) is an indigenous ritual for the dead in the Northern Philippines. The atang ritual is thought to be a part of the cultural and religious contexts of the Ilocano people. This research argued that the Ilocanos’ practice of atang ritual is compatible with the Catholic Doctrine on the Communion of Saints. This study utilized descriptive and contextual approaches in doing inculturation. It used the purposive sampling technique to Ilocano participants and discussed the development of doing a local theology of atang ritual in the faith of Ilocano Catholics. Results of the study revealed that the atang ritual has significant implications in the faith of the Ilocano Catholics in terms of the importance of remembering the dead as way to elaborate the doctrine of the communion of Saints. Thus, the concept of the communion of saints can be understood in the context of food offering for the dead.
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