Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

8-2005

Abstract

In this paper I draw attention to the study of 'unofficially sacred' sites in geographies of religion, which provide significant insights into the construction of religious identity and community, and the intersections of sacred and secular. I show that such sites deserve as much attention as places of worship (the more conventional focus in the geographical study of religion) in our understanding of the place of religion in contemporary urban society. In particular, using the case of Islamic religious schools in Singapore, I examine how Muslim identities and community are negotiated within multicultural and multireligious contexts, and particularly within one in which there is a highly 'educative' state [Gramsci, 1971 Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci (International Publishers, New York)] that seeks to guide nation formation and the manufacture of consensus, and which strives to achieve a secular, modernist vision of society, characterized by economic progress and development. The specific analysis focuses, first, on the role of the state in the social construction of 'schools'-particularly the ways in which state-constructed definitions of multiculturalism, multiracialism, multireligiosity, and modernity shape Singapore schools and education. Second, I examine the ways in which religious schools (madrasahs) are a means by which some Singapore Muslims maintain and enhance their religious life. Further, I analyze state-religion relations, state strategies of nation-building, strategies of identity and community construction among Muslims in Singapore, as well as the fractured nature of the Muslim community by studying the divergent meanings invested in schools by state and religious groups.

Keywords

Education, Islamism, Multiculturalism, Religion, Asia; Eastern Hemisphere, Eurasia, Singapore, Southeast Asia; World

Discipline

Asian Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Religion | Urban Studies

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Volume

23

Issue

4

First Page

615

Last Page

631

ISSN

0263-7758

Identifier

10.1068/d394

Publisher

SAGE

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/d394

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