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January 07 , 2011

Popular Religion in Southeast Asia


In this overview of popular religion in Southeast Asia, Robert L. Winzeler offers an interpretative look at the nature of today’s indigenous religious traditions as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity and conversion. He focuses not on religion as it exists in books, doctrine, theology, and among elites and dominant institutions but rather in the lives, beliefs, and practices of ordinary people.

Popular Religion in Southeast Asia employs a broad view of religion as involving not just the usual Western notions of faith but also supernatural belief in general, magic, sorcery, and practical concerns such as healing, personal protection, and success in business. Case studies and concrete examples flesh out the discussion, demonstrating how popular religion relates to historical and contemporary social, cultural, political, and economic developments in the region.

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