Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 20, No 1 (2007)

Civil Religion and the Invention of Traditions: Constructing '‘the Singapore Nation'

Lily Kong
Issued Date: 10 Mar 2007


In this article, I adopt the concept of civil religion, and particularly those aspects that emphasize the importance of rituals and traditions in the construction of a ‘nation’, to examine the ways in which a particular nation—Singapore—is politically and socially constructed. Using two specific examples of invented rituals and traditions, I illustrate the ways in which the state attempts to build a sense of community and identity. The two examples I use are an annual choreography of spectacle and display to celebrate Singapore’s National Day, and the production of a tapestry currently on exhibition as a very public symbol of community and belonging.

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DOI: 10.1558/arsr.v20i1.77


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