Comparative research project on Chinese transnational religious networks in Singapore (completed)

Gue Thye Hue

This project is directed by Professor Peter van der Veer and Professor Kenneth Dean, while Dr. Hue Guan Thye is stationed in Singpore to collect and compile the relevant data. In this project, data on Chinese temples in Singapore will be collected in order to isolate the (estimated) 50-70 temples with strong links back to China. A list of these temples will be produced, and their distribution across Singapore will be mapped out. These temples will also be re-visited in order to gather as much documentation as possible on the nature of their links to China. A rough typology of these links will be developed, and will include forms of connection such as the running of rebuilt founding temples from afar or, the revisiting of them 
regularly for major rites, but in a subordinate role, or irregular visiting in response to calls for aid. The typology will grow more interesting and intricate with further investigation, and also include the flows of ritual speicalists, opera troupes, and temple leaders from China to Singapore. Materials will be gathered on Native-place Associations, Clan Associations and Lineage Halls with similar ties to China. Furthermore, data will be gathered on Buddhist connections: mainstream Buddhist links, the spread of the Way of Prior Heaven, and new transnational groups like Ciji, Foguang, Fagu, Soko Gakai, and their activities in Singapore. Preliminary interviews will be conducted with the leaders of these associations, as well as the local leading figures in the network, such as the leader of the Buddhist Federation and Taoist Association.

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