Religious Diversity in Asia


The religious landscape in Asia has long been diverse, with various forms of syncretic traditions and pragmatic practices continuously having been challenged by centrifugal forces of differentiation. This anthology explores representations and managements of religious diversity in Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and diaspora religions originating in these countries, seen through the lenses of history, identity, state, ritual and geography. In addition to presenting empirical cases, the chapters also address theoretical and methodological reflections using Asia as a laboratory for further comparative research of the relevance and use of 'religious diversity'.

Religious Diversity in Asia was made possible by a framework grant from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation allowing the grant holder (Jørn Borup) and two colleagues (Marianne Q. Fibiger and Lene Kühle) to host a workshop at Aarhus University and to co-arrange workshops in Delhi and Nagoya. We would like to thank professors Arshad Alam and Michiaki Okuyama for hosting these latter workshops at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Nanzan University, and we would like to thank Professor Chong-Suh Kim for the invitation for Jørn Borup to visit Seoul National University. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all the scholars who participated in the workshops and to all the authors we subsequently invited to contribute to our endeavor to create this academically relevant volume.

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Jørn Borup, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at Department of the Study of Religion at Aarhus University. He has published various monographs, edited volumes and articles on Buddhism (in East and West), spirituality, migration and religious diversity.
Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University. Her main research field is Hinduism in Diaspora, guru worship and yoga in the West. She has primarily edited and published within these subjects.
Lene Kühle, Ph.D., is professor WSR at Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University. She has published widely in English and Danish on religious diversity, Muslims in Denmark, radicalisation and religion in public institutions.

Contributors are: Donald Baker, Ugo Dessi, Chung Van Hoang, Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Noa Levy, Gideon Elazar, Santosh K. Singh, Yu Tao, Ed Griffith, Satoko Fujiwara, Uwe Skoda, Tudor Silva, Martin Tsang, Marianne Q. Fibiger, Jørn Borup, Lene Kühle.
List of Tables and Figures
Notes on Contributors

Jørn Borup and Marianne Q. Fibiger

Part 1: Religious Diversities – Past and Present

1 Religious Diversity on the Korean Peninsula, Past and Present
Don Baker

2 Religious Diversity in Japan
Ugo Dessì

3 The Double-Layered Diversification of Religion in Post-Renovation Vietnam
Chung Van Hoang

PART 2: Identities

4 Some ‘Side Effects’ of Religious Diversity: Exploring Religious Conversion in the Indian Secular State
Ayelet Harel-Shalev and Noa Levy

5 The Challenge of Diversity: Evangelical Missionaries and Ethno-Christianity in Reform Era Yunnan
Gideon Elazar

6 From Syncretism to Split: Ethnographic Insights from a Socio-Religious Movement in India
Santosh K. Singh

Part 3: Education

7 Religious Diversity with Chinese Characteristics? Meanings and Implications of the Term ‘Religious Diversity’ in Contemporary Chinese Dissertations
Yu Tao and Ed Griffith

8 How Religious Diversity Is Represented and Taught in Asian School Textbooks
Satoko Fujiwara

Part 4: Ritual

9 Worshipping Durga(s) Dasara, Durga Puja and the Dynamics of Goddess Worship in a Former Princely State in Odisha, India
Uwe Skoda

10 Religious Diversity and Interreligious Contestations in Sri Lanka: the Encounter between Buddhism and Islam in the Galebandara Cult in Kurunagala
Kalinga Tudor Silva

Part 5: Diaspora

11 La Caridad, Oshún, and Kuan Yin in Afro-Chinese Religion in Cuba
Martin A. Tsang

12 Religious Diversity among Asians in Old Diasporas
Jorn Borup and Marianne Q. Fibiger

Lene Kühle

Students, scholars and all interested in Asian religions and religious diversity.
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