New Book: “Religious Transformation in Modern Asia”

Religious Transformation in Modern Asia: A Transnational Movement

edited by David W. Kim (Australian National University)
Brill, March 2015

http://www.brill.com/products/book/religious-transformation-modern-asia

This volume explores the religious transformation of each nation in modern Asia. When the Asian people, who were not only diverse in culture and history, but also active in performing local traditions and religions, experienced a socio-political change under the wave of Western colonialism, the religious climate was also altered from a transnational perspective.

  • Part One explores the nationals of China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, focusing on the manifestations of Japanese religion, Chinese foreign policy, the British educational system in Hong Kong in relation to Tibetan Buddhism, the Korean women of Catholicism, and the Scottish impact in late nineteenth century Korea.
  • Part Two approaches South Asia through the topics of astrology, the works of a Gujarātī saint, and Himalayan Buddhism.
  • The third part is focused on the conflicts between ‘indigenous religions and colonialism,’ ‘Buddhism and Christianity,’ ‘Islam and imperialism,’ and ‘Hinduism and Christianity’ in Southeast Asia.

The volume will certainly impress those who are interested in modern Asian history and religion, particularly with the colonial experiences of India, Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. By directing attention to the study of religions in Asia, David Kim’s Religious Transformation in Modern Asia goes some distance towards redressing the imbalance in Religious Studies, which, even in the study of the major religions of Asia, has favoured approaches that reflect topics of primary concern to students of religion in the West. This collection of essays written by experts in Northeast, South and Southeast Asia offers a rare insight into themes and issues that confront both practitioners as insiders as well as academics and informed outsiders. As such, it promises to contribute to the understanding of the study of religions in Asia, both historically and in contemporary settings, while at the same time offering important theoretical advances in the academic study of religions generally.

Contributors are: Carole M. Cusack, Catharina Blomberg, Christopher Hartney, Daniel Ahn, David W. Kim, Joshua Esler, Kevin N. Cawley, Laurens de Rooij, Lawrence C. Reardon, Lionel Obadia, Martin Wood, Nicholas Campion, and Ronnie Gale Dreyer.