Asian Studies, a peer-reviewed journal by the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, has recently published Islam and Philippine Society: The Writings of Cesar Adib Majul, a double issue commemorating one of the most brilliant minds in Philippine intellectual history.

This volume reprints ten of Dr. Majul’s articles published in previous issues of Asian Studies over the past five decades. Released as a retrospective issue, it contains five articles on Islam and Muslims in the Philippines, and another five on Filipino nationalism and the Philippine Reform Movement.

These include The Role of Islam in the History of the Filipino People (1966); Islam in the Philippines and its China Link (1999); Social Background of Revolution (1971); and Principales, Ilustrados, Intellectuals and the Original Concept of a Filipino National Community(1977).  

In his introduction, Julkipli Wadi, Dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies at the University of the Philippines, writes that the republication of Majul’s articles comes “auspiciously” after the signing of a Framework Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. They offer a rich “historical canvas that can help determine the context and possible trajectories of the Framework’s vision of peace.”

Moreover, the republication pays tribute to Dr. Majul’s seminal contribution to Philippine scholarship. He authored several books and penned numerous articles in reputable publications.  This voluminous body of work spans five decades, and covers groundbreaking studies in Philippine history, the sociopolitical thought of Apolinario Mabini, and the history of Islam and Muslims in the Philippines.

Educated in Cornell University, Dr. Majul occupied various academic and administrative positions in the University of the Philippines Diliman from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. He was once dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, which incorporated the now separate College of Arts and Letters, the College of Science, and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.  He passed away in October 2003.

Majul was an intellectual “giant,” says Asian Studies editor in chief, Eduardo C. Tadem, Ph.D. “We came out with this issue to allow veteran academics to look back at and reassess the significance of Dean Majul’s writings, perhaps with the benefit of hindsight. We also wanted to introduce new generations of scholars to his work, which is arguably unparalleled and relevant as ever.”