The pandemic and spiritual capital: Re-reading faith through human pain, anxiety, and meaninglessness in the Philippines


  • Rito Baring De la Salle University
  • Jeramie N. Molino St. Louis University


spiritual capital, pandemic, religion, existentialism, meaning making


The suppression of traditional religious activities during the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed new forms of spiritual disciplines. To understand this phenomenal shift, we use spiritual capital as an explanatory concept to describe emerging spiritual resources in a state of international health crises. We investigate how forms of spiritual capital keep individuals and religious communities in the Philippines afloat to face daily threats to health. We structure our analysis through Robert Putnam’s categories of bonding and bridging capital transposed as forms of spiritual resources. We used Paul Tillich’s ideas of courage and the Ultimate and Victor Frankl’s insights on meaning making as spiritual resources. This paper shows how spiritual capital has been heavily invested at the height of the pandemic lockdowns in the Philippines and various parts of the world. Filipinos demonstrate spiritual resilience in bridging and bonding forms of spiritual capital. These manifestations affirm religion’s normative function and practical value of religious support for communities.

Author Biographies

Rito Baring, De la Salle University

De la Salle University, Dept. of Theology and Religious Education, Manila, Philippines.

Jeramie N. Molino, St. Louis University

St. Louis University, Religion Department, Baguio City, Philippines.







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