We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Intimating the Sacred

Religion in malaysian Fiction

Andrew Hock Soon Ng

Publication Year: 2011

Four main objectives underpin this study: to introduce Anglophone Malaysian literature to a wider, international readership; to identify the varied dimensions of religion and religiosity in Malaysian fiction in English, and what they reveal about identity and nationhood; to demonstrate the manner in which these narratives provide crucial insights into the “cultural memory” of a people, rather than as documents about “the nation”; and to reveal the intersections between religion and other facets of identity such as class, gender and sexuality. The book is aimed at postgraduate students and researchers interested in Malaysian literature and religion. Those interested in the intersections between (post)modernity and religion in the Southeast Asian region will also find this book useful. Also, students and researchers interested in the configurations of women and postcoloniality from a religious perspective may also find this book insightful.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (38.9 KB)
pp. ix-x

I would like to thank the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia, for the generous grant awarded to me for this project. Several parts of this study have been previously published in modified versions...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (139.5 KB)
pp. 1-30

Jamie S. Scott’s assertion that “every literary history includes a tradition of religious writings” seems especially relevant to anglophone Malaysian fiction.1 Although the phrase “religious writings” is inaccurate in this context, it is undeniable that despite its relatively recent history...

read more

1. Visions of Possibilities: Religion and/as “Hospitality” in Lloyd Fernando’s Novels

pdf iconDownload PDF (177.8 KB)
pp. 31-68

This chapter is interested in the religious dimensions of Fernando’s two novels, Scorpion Orchid (1976) and Green Is the Colour (1993) — an area that features prominently in his narratives but has been neglected by scholarship which tends to emphasize...

read more

2. Irony and the Sacred in Lee Kok Liang’s Fiction

pdf iconDownload PDF (171.6 KB)
pp. 69-104

If Fernando’s Green Is the Colour may be considered as illuminative of the dangers of the Islamization of the country in the 1970s and 80s (and to a significant extent, even into...

read more

3. Hinduism and the Ways of the Divine: The Works of K. S. Maniam

pdf iconDownload PDF (231.3 KB)
pp. 105-156

Fernando’s novels and to a lesser extent Lee’s works portray the difficulties in managing multireligiosity in everyday life. They identify and illuminate problem areas, and provide insightful observations on how religiosity is problematically embodied and practised, especially because religion in Malaysia...

read more

4. Contentious Faiths: Questioning Confucianism and Christianity in the Fiction of Shirley Lim

pdf iconDownload PDF (173.2 KB)
pp. 157-192

Technically, Shirley Geok-lin Lim is no longer a Malaysian writer if “Malaysian” is to be understood as a designation of citizenship. Immigrating to the United States in 1969, she has since become a professor of English at the University...

read more

5. Islam and Modernity in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction by Malay Writers

pdf iconDownload PDF (87.7 KB)
pp. 193-208

This last chapter explores the negotiation between Islam and modernity in two narratives, specifically “Mariah” by Che Husna Azhari, and “The Neighbours” by Karim Raslan. In the former, Islam is metonymically represented by the practice of polygamy, while homosexuality is invoked in the latter as a narrative...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (50.9 KB)
pp. 209-214

In a recent essay on the status of anglophone Malaysian literature, the writers argue that the “proliferation of Malaysian Literature in English [in the last ten years] can be seen as a way of resisting … colonialist discourse by providing a space for Malaysians...


pdf iconDownload PDF (147.0 KB)
pp. 215-248


pdf iconDownload PDF (108.3 KB)
pp. 249-270


pdf iconDownload PDF (74.0 KB)
pp. 271-281

E-ISBN-13: 9789888053889
Print-ISBN-13: 9789888083213

Publication Year: 2011