196 pages | 34 B/W Illus.
Catholicism has had an important place in Macau since the earliest days of Portuguese colonization in the sixteenth century. This book, based on extensive original research including in-depth interviews, examines in detail the everyday life of Catholics in Macau at present. It outlines the tremendous societal pressures which Macau is currently undergoing – sovereignty handover and its consequences, the growth of casinos and tourism and the transformation of a serene and somewhat obscure colony into a vibrantly developing city. It shows how, although the formal structures of Catholicism no longer share in rule by the colonial power, and although formal religious observance is declining, nevertheless the personal piety and ethical religious outlook of individual Catholics continue to be strong, and have a huge, and possibly increasing, impact on public life through the application of personal religious ethics to issues of human rights and social justice and in the fields of education and social services.
"A lot of valuable work about the history of Macau and the conflicts in civil society over corruption and the authoritarian system. [The author] brings out the complexity of the city/state and the role of the church."
- Bryan Turner, Australian Catholic University and Potsdam University, Germany.
1. Changing Contours of Religious and Spiritual Life
2. Moral Community and the Catholic Tradition
3. Social Justice and the Obstructed Path of Democracy
4. Emerging Forms of Catholic Civic Engagement
Much work on contemporary religion in Asia considers the subject from the perspective of the great religions, often focusing on the development of official beliefs, and the development of formal institutions. The books in this series, on the other hand, examine the actual practice of religion in everyday life in modern Asian societies. They reveal a very rich picture of varying religious practices, many of them new and non-traditional. The religions of Asia are undergoing much radical change not only communal religious revivalism, but also an explosion of urban piety, popular preaching, charismatic churches, and on-line religion. The books cover a wide range of subjects in the countries of East, Southeast, South and Central Asia. The series welcomes innovative approaches to theory and methods in the study of religion and religions, and work which considers religion in relation to culture, politics, ethnicity or gender.
Bryan S. Turner is Presidential Professor of Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York and Professor and Director of the Centre for Religion and Society at the University of Western Sydney.