Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144178
Title: BODIES, BOUNDARIES AND BEYOND: SHARING SACRED SPACE IN THE LOYANG TUA PEK KONG TEMPLE
Authors: WEE HUI MIN ASHLEY
Keywords: geographies of religion, shared sacred space, poetics and politics, embodiment, performative space, boundaries
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: WEE HUI MIN ASHLEY (2018). BODIES, BOUNDARIES AND BEYOND: SHARING SACRED SPACE IN THE LOYANG TUA PEK KONG TEMPLE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Sacred spaces are central to the religious practices and beliefs of devotees, serving as physical manifestations of religious worldviews (Stump, 2008) and repositories of religious identities (Bowman, 2012). Given their significance to religious groups, sacred spaces are often perceived to be bounded and indivisible, and therefore commonly erupt as sites of religious territorial conflict. Yet, amidst religious conflict and violence, there exist shared sacred spaces where religious groups are able to coexist harmoniously despite difference. Within the geographies of religion, these unique shared sacred spaces have not been sufficiently explored, and are marginal to the bulk of geographical research analysing conflict and competition between secular and religious groups as well as between majority and minority religious groups. Using the empirical case of the Loyang Tua Pek Kong (LYTPK) temple in Singapore, I explore the relatively unchartered territory of the shared sacred space, and uncover how it is shared between different religious groups. To achieve this, I engage with embodied geographies and the theoretical approaches of the poetics and politics of sacred space (Kong, 2001), while adding to re-conceptualisations of sacred space as performative and always becoming (Gregson & Rose, 2000; McCormack, 2009). Through qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews with devotees and staff, sketch maps and participant observation, I argue that sharing sacred space in the LYTPK temple is made possible through the simultaneous processes of (1) delimiting boundaries in sacred space through the sacralisation of bodily and physical space, and (2) transcending boundaries in sacred space through micro-scale negotiations of power relations, or the politics of shared sacred space. Crucially, the sacred spaces of the ii body and the temple are shown to be mutually-constitutive and caught in performative relations.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144178
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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