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The Chinese origins of democracy: Dynamic Confucianism in Singapore

Doran, Christine (2010). The Chinese origins of democracy: Dynamic Confucianism in Singapore. NEBULA: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship,7(4):47-53.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 83093774xPUB205
Title The Chinese origins of democracy: Dynamic Confucianism in Singapore
Author Doran, Christine
Journal Name NEBULA: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship
Publication Date 2010
Volume Number 7
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1449-7751   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 47
End Page 53
Total Pages 7
Place of Publication Glebe, Australia
Publisher Samar Habib, Ed. & Pub.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract This paper examines the deployment of religion in the effort to raise nationalist consciousness among the Chinese community in colonial Singapore in the early twentieth century. It has often been noted that religion played a significant role in the emergence of nationalism in colonised Asia. However, the religions usually thought of in this context have been Islam and Buddhism, rather than Confucianism (Chong 2009: 2). With the formation of the Young Men‟s Buddhist Association in 1906 which inaugurated moves towards nationalist consciousness in Burma, or the organisation of the Sarekat Islam in 1912, which was an early milestone in the development of the Indonesian nationalist movement, Buddhism and Islam demonstrated their dynamic potential in the realm of politics. Confucianism, on the other hand, has generally had a reputation as an ossified, elitist and obsolescent form of religion. In fact it has been quite common for Western commentators to deny that it was a religion at all.
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