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The Subjectivity and Identity of Malaysian Chinese Christians: Rethinking the Appropriateness of the Definition of the Chinese Church and its Referents
Malaysian Chinese; Christianity in Malaysia; diaspora; Overseas Chinese; Chinese Church
|Issue Date:||2022-04-14 13:45:57 (UTC+8)|
Research related to Malaysian Chinese communities produced in Chinese language academic circles has accumulated to a considerable level; however, such research usually falls into a stereotypical research perspective, regarding Malaysian Chinese as “overseas Chinese.” Such a perspective makes it difficult to break from the core-periphery understanding of Chinese communities. On the other hand, scholars writing in English have become accustomed to understanding the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia as diasporic communities. The author of this paper argues that, whether labeled as “overseas Chinese” or “diasporic communities,” both are inaccurate descriptions of the actual circumstances of ethnic Chinese in Malaysia. Religious studies research on Malaysia also often reflects the aforementioned phenomenon, and studies of Christianity there are no exception. Research on Malaysian Chinese Christians from Chinese-speaking academic circles is not at all common, but many international church organizations refer to Malaysian congregations of ethnic Chinese as “Chinese Churches” (Huaren jiaohui 華人教會). In effect, this homogenizing view places Malaysian Christian communities in the same category as “Chinese Churches” functioning as “native associations” (tongxiang hui 同鄉會) across Europe and the United States. This article indicates that Malaysia’s “Chinese Church” is an understanding based on conceptions of “overseas Chinese” and “diasporic communities.” Moreover, this article defines the subjectivity and identity of Malaysian Chinese Christians from “anti-diaspora” (fan lisan 反離散) and “polycentric” (duo zhongxin 多中心) perspectives.
|Relation:||台灣宗教研究, 19:2, pp.159-200|
|Appears in Collections:||[宗教研究所] 期刊論文|
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