Introduction: Religious Syncretism and Everyday Religiosity in Asia

Introduction: Religious Syncretism and Everyday Religiosity in Asia © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/156853109X385367 Introduction: Religious Syncretism and Everyday Religiosity in Asia Daniel P.S. Goh Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore Th is special issue is dedicated to the critique of contemporary scholarship on religion in Asia. While Asia is the cradle of the world religions, it is also well known that popular “little” or “folk” traditions form the dense undergrowth of everyday religious practices, thus giving depth and dynamism to Asia’s diverse religious mosaic. Th e evolving changes and creations produced by the interaction between religions, between “great” and “little” traditions within a religion, and between religion and modernity, whether conveyed by Western missionaries or secular state-builders, have given inspiration and career to many anthropologists. Th ey have also given rise to the theory of religious syn- cretism that has heavily coloured the view of religion in Asia. Together, the authors here turn to the ethnography of everyday religiosity to question the utility and adequacy of this theory in explaining the religious changes and innovations we see in Asia today. In its simplest sense of the word, syncretism refers to the fusion of diff erent beliefs or practices. Th e accreted theoretical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Journal of Social Science Brill

Introduction: Religious Syncretism and Everyday Religiosity in Asia

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1568-4849
eISSN
1568-5314
D.O.I.
10.1163/156853109X385367
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/156853109X385367 Introduction: Religious Syncretism and Everyday Religiosity in Asia Daniel P.S. Goh Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore Th is special issue is dedicated to the critique of contemporary scholarship on religion in Asia. While Asia is the cradle of the world religions, it is also well known that popular “little” or “folk” traditions form the dense undergrowth of everyday religious practices, thus giving depth and dynamism to Asia’s diverse religious mosaic. Th e evolving changes and creations produced by the interaction between religions, between “great” and “little” traditions within a religion, and between religion and modernity, whether conveyed by Western missionaries or secular state-builders, have given inspiration and career to many anthropologists. Th ey have also given rise to the theory of religious syn- cretism that has heavily coloured the view of religion in Asia. Together, the authors here turn to the ethnography of everyday religiosity to question the utility and adequacy of this theory in explaining the religious changes and innovations we see in Asia today. In its simplest sense of the word, syncretism refers to the fusion of diff erent beliefs or practices. Th e accreted theoretical

Journal

Asian Journal of Social ScienceBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2009

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