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Title: Becoming a Confucian in contemporary Singapore: The case of Nanyang Confucian association
Authors: Ong, Chang Woei 
Koh, Khee Heong 
Keywords: Chineseness
Nanyang Confucian Association
Issue Date: 11-Oct-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Ong, Chang Woei, Koh, Khee Heong (2021-10-11). Becoming a Confucian in contemporary Singapore: The case of Nanyang Confucian association. Religions 12 (10) : 854. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Using the Nanyang Confucian Association (NCA) as a case study, this paper explores the multi-faceted processes through which a segment of Singapore’s Chinese community constructs its self-identity based on an understanding of Confucianism that dismisses its religious attributes while underscoring the ethnic and cultural dimensions. Tracing the history of the association since its formation in 1914, the paper hopes to contribute to recent overseas Chinese studies on the rethinking of the notion of the Chinese diaspora within the context of the formation, circulation, and contest of a global Chinese identity by asking the following questions: Does identifying with the Confucian tradition necessarily require one to acknowledge their connection with China? Would a self-proclaimed Confucian be perceived as someone who looks to China for ethnic and cultural affiliation and thus appears less local? The authors argue that, while still acknowledging the spatial- temporal centrality of China as the origin of Confucianism and Chinese civilization, leaders of the NCA clearly intended to simultaneously position the NCA at the center of global Confucian activism. What emerges from the processes initiated by the NCA in constructing its identity is a complex overlay of history, geography, and culture that gives rise to a vision of multiple centers. © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Source Title: Religions
ISSN: 2077-1444
DOI: 10.3390/rel12100854
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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