Rationalizing Religion

Religious Conversion, Revivalism and Competition in Singapore Society


Examining modernity and religion this book disputes the widely-spread secularization hypothesis. Using the example of Singapore, as well as comparative data on religion in China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, it convincingly argues that rapid social change and modernity have not led here to the decline of religion but on the contrary, to a certain revivalism.
Using qualitative and quantitative data collected over a period of twenty years, the author analyzes the nature of religious change in a society with a complex ethnic and religious composition. What happens when there are so many religions co-existing in such close proximity? Given the level of religious competition, there is a process of the intellectualization; individuals shift from an unthinking and passive acceptance of religion to one where there is a tendency to search for a religion regarded as systematic, logical and relevant.

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Tong Chee Kiong teaches at the Department of Sociology National University of Singapore. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, USA. Tong's research interests focus on ethnicity and religion. His publications include Chinese Death Rituals in Singapore ( 2004) and Alternate Identities: The Chinese of Contemporary Thailand (Brill 2001). Tong has published papers in British Journal of Sociology, Diaspora, International Sociology and International Migration Review.
Sociologists and wider audience of readers, including students interested in the global setting of religious change as well as specialists on Singapore society. University libraries especially with departments that teach Sociology of Religion
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