Merging different sacred spaces: - Enabling religious encounters through pragmatic utilisation of space? - : - Space, location and identity [Le mlange d'espaces sacrs diffrents : - Rendre possible des rencontres religieuses par l'utilisation pragmatiq

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TitleMerging different sacred spaces: - Enabling religious encounters through pragmatic utilisation of space? - : - Space, location and identity [Le mlange d'espaces sacrs diffrents : - Rendre possible des rencontres religieuses par l'utilisation pragmatiq
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSinha, V.(1)
JournalContributions to Indian sociology
Volume37
Pagination459
Date Published2003
PublisherSage
ISBN Number0069-9667
KeywordsAsie du Sud-Est, Dveloppement urbain, English:: - Taoism, Espace sacr, Espace urbain, Hindouisme, Hinduism, Innovation, Lieu de culte, Modernit, Modernity, Place of worship, Religious identity, Sacred space, Singapore, Singapour, Southeast Asia, Urban development, Urban space
Abstract

The A. examines the phenomenon of the merger of places of worship on the island nation-state of Singapore, and raises sociological questions regarding the rationale for such sharing of space for emergent styles of religiosity. The ethnographic material comes from two such cases of merger, involving Hindu and Taoist religious traditions in Singapore. These data allow to abstract broader issues of conceptual relevance to the understanding of religion under conditions of modernity. The A. argues that the practical requirement of merger in a shared physical location creates a literal and symbolic space, as well as a context for interaction between individuals, communities and ultimately modes of religiosity. This context is both constraining and liberating at the same time, but the A. does not see modernity as eroding or diminishing religiosity. Rather one observes that the formal rational, instrumental logic also facilitates innovations, inventiveness and creativity in the religious domain, producing a vastly altered religious landscape. This challenges and impels us to move beyond a reductionist choice between the secularising or the sacralising effects of modernist forces on religious practice.