This book addresses the growing academic concerns of the market-religion convergences in Asia.
Bringing together a group of leading scholars from Asia, Europe, Australia and North America, it discusses multiple issues regarding religious commodifications and their consequences across Asia’s diverse religious traditions. Covering key issues in the anthropology and sociology of contemporary Asian religion, it draws theoretical implications for the study of religions in the light of the shift of religious institutions from traditional religious beliefs to material prosperity. The fact that religions compete with each other in a ‘market of faiths’ is also at the core of the analysis. The contributions show how ordinary people and religious institutions in Asia adjusted to, and negotiated with, the penetrative forces of a global market economy into the region’s changing religio-cultural landscapes.
An excellent contribution to the growing demands of ethnographically and theoretically updated interpretations of Asian religions, Religious Commodifications in Asia will be of interest to scholars of Asian religion and new religious movements.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Asia's Commodified Sacred Canopies Pattana Kitiarsa Part 1: A Commodity Approach to the Study of Asian Religions 1. Asia and the Global Economies of Charisma Robert P. Weller 2. New Spiritualities, the Media, and the Global Religion Bryan S. Turner Part 2: Modes and Techniques of the Symbolic Economies 3. Commodifying Blessings: Celebrating the Double-Yang Festivals in Penang, Malaysia and Wudang, China Jean DeBernardi 4. Kuan To: The Vegetarian Festival in a Peripheral Southern Thai Shrine Erik Cohen 5. Materializing Merit: Reflections on the Symbolic Economy of Religious Monuments and Tourist-Pilgrimage in Contemporary Thailand Marc Askew 6. Buddha Phanit: Thailand's Prosperity Religion and Its Commodifying Tactics Pattana Kitiarsa Part 3: The Multiple Effects of Religious Commodifications 7. Spirits of Consumption and the Capitalist Ethic in Vietnam Oscar Salemink 8. 'Merchandizing' Hinduism: Commodities, Market and Possibilities of Enchantment Vineeta Sinha 9. McDonaldization of the Megachurches: A Case Study of Singapore's City Harvest Church Joy Tong Kooi Chin 10. Islam as a Symbolic Commodity: Transmitting and Consuming Islam through Public Sermon in Indonesia Akh Muzzaki 11. Commodification of Religion and the 'Religification' of Commodities: Youth Culture and Religious Identity Ronald Lukens-Bull
Pattana Kitiarsa is currently Visiting Fellow in the Southeast Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore. He has published both in Thai and English in the fields of Thai popular Buddhism and cultures, politics of development, transnational labor migration, Thai boxing, and films. His forthcoming books include Never Offend the Spirits: Thai Popular Buddhism and Its Occult Economy, and Transnational Intimacies: The Private Life of Thai Workmen in Singapore.