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Handbook of Religion and the Asian CityAspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281226

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281226.001.0001

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date: 30 May 2020

In Place of Ritual

In Place of Ritual

Global City, Sacred Space, and the Guanyin Temple in Singapore

(p.21) 1 In Place of Ritual
Handbook of Religion and the Asian City

Daniel P. S. Goh

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the New Year's Eve rituals in and around the Guanyin Temple and Sri Krishnan Temple in Singapore. The two temples have been increasingly hemmed in by urban redevelopment in the past few decades. Shopping centers, office buildings, and private apartment complexes sprung up around the temples. This chapter considers how the Guanyin Temple's religious spatiality affects the secular urbanism encroaching on it and vice versa. It argues that the state has failed to pin down the religious spatiality as cultural heritage, and instead, the Guanyin Temple continues to infect the secular urbanism with a vernacular spirituality that resists easy incorporation into the developmental state's ideal global city. It also examines the influence of this spirituality on modernity and on the state's secularizing urban projects that have been impinging on the temples and their rituals.

Keywords:   rituals, New Year's Eve, Guanyin Temple, Sri Krishnan Temple, Singapore, religious spatiality, urbanism, cultural heritage, spirituality, global city

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