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Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and SingaporeGender, Religion, Medicine and Money$
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Marjorie Topley and Jean DeBernardi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028146

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028146.001.0001

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The Emergence and Social Function of Chinese Religious Associations in Singapore

The Emergence and Social Function of Chinese Religious Associations in Singapore


(p.175) Chapter 8 The Emergence and Social Function of Chinese Religious Associations in Singapore
Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Marjorie Topley

, Jean DeBernardi
Hong Kong University Press

One of the ways in which religious associations in Singapore differ from those in urban China is in their greater freedom to make use of religious symbols and to engage in religious activities. Chinese associations which are not directly oriented to religion have been characterized until their more recent history by the interweaving of a number of religious elements with more secular elements: by the use of symbols derived from religious sources, by the use of religious ritual in their ceremonial, and sometimes by group worship. In China, the political system dictated the broad limits of permitted belief as well as the approved forms of organization for religion. Economic and friendly associations in towns often made use of religious elements but limits were set to this, and the same was true of a number of associations that had more directly religious purposes.

Keywords:   religious associations, Singapore, China, religious symbols, religion, religious ritual, group worship, political system

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