Title

The nationalisation of religion: Youth and Soka Gakkai in Singapore

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2018

Abstract

The nationalisation of religion is introduced in this article as the condition in which the secular interests and values of the state are articulated and enacted by religious organisations or individuals participating in public life. It has two attributes: (1) performances are shrouded in a nationalistic character that renders the religious significantly invisible and as a result; (2) the prevailing political order proceeds unquestioned. To make its case, the article draws from the experiences of the youth of Soka who perform in public events such as the National Day Parade and Chingay in Singapore. These performances are some of the ways in which Soka presents itself as a cultural organisation working for peace and progress in Singapore. For them, it is about sending a message that individual and collective struggles can be overcome and that in spite of their differences, people can come together.

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