Chinese Religion in Malaysia

Temples and Communities


Based on long-term ethnographic study, this is the first comprehensive work on the Chinese popular religion in Malaysia. It analyses temples and communities in historical and contemporary perspective, the diversity of deities and Chinese speech groups, religious specialists and temple services, the communal significance of the Hungry Ghosts Festival, the relationship between religion and philanthropy as seen through the lens of such Chinese religious organization as shantang (benevolent halls) and Dejiao (Moral Uplifting Societies), as well as the development and transformation of Taoist Religion. Highly informative, this concise book contributes to an understanding of Chinese migration and settlement, political economy and religion, religion and identity politics as well the significance of religion to both individuals and communities.

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Tan Chee-Beng, Ph.D. (Cornell University, 1979) is Distinguished Professor at Sun Yat-sen University. He has published monographs and many articles on the Chinese overseas, including Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Overseas (2013, editor) and Chinatowns around the World (Leiden: Brill, 2013, co-editor).
Technical Notes
List of Illustrations

1 Introduction

2 Temples and Local Communities

3 Deities, Speech Groups and Temples

4 Temple Services, Mediums and Temple Promotion

5 Localization and Chinese Religion

6 Pudu: The Hungry Ghosts Festival

7 Religious Organizations and Philanthropy

8 Taoist Religion in Malaysia

9 Conclusion

All interested in the study of the Chinese overseas and Chinese popular religion, religion and identity politics, and the sociological significance of religion to individuals and communities.