This paper is a case study of a the City God Temple in Singapore, examining how a traditional Chinese temple has adjusted and created a new, Daoist identity to keep pace with the social changes and development of a modern city. Chinese religion first arrived in Singapore with immigrants from southeast China shortly after the city was first discovered and colonized by the British in 1819. Their practitioners remained closely connected to their original places, perpetuating their deep memories and unique cultural characteristics. In recent decades, as both society and city have changed to keep pace with modernity, the temples had to find ways to balance traditional culture and modern life. The City God Temple is an example of a successful adaptation to social change by moving beyond traditional social structures into new management modes and by overcoming the multi-sectarian patterns of Chinese religiosity and creating a firm Daoist identity. In this study, I examine this process from three main perspectives: historical background, approaches to management, and religious identity.


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pp. 115-142
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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