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.
Table of Contents
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
Chen Hon-Fai is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.
"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.