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Researchers present their work at ICAS, Adelaide

Jul 23, 2015

Dr. Katja Rakow, Esther Berg and Matthias Deininger of Junior Research Group “Transcultural Dynamics of Global Pentecostalism” presented their research on evangelical and charismatic Christianity in Singapore at the 9th International Conference of Asia Scholars (ICAS). The event took place from July 5-9 in Adelaide, Australia.

In their panel on “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charismatic Christianity in Singapore” the researchers addressed the rising presence and visibility of evangelical and charismatic discourses, practices and organizations in Singapore. Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has undergone rapid industrialisation, modernisation, and economic development. Today, it reaches the second highest per-capita income in Asia and has one of the highest population densities in Asia. Over the last decade, the multi-ethnic, multi-religious but secular state of Singapore has seen a rise in evangelical and charismatic Christianity thereby raising the public profile of Christian churches in society.

In her talk on “Shopping Mall, Concert Hall and Worship Space: Negotiating Public Space in Singapore,” Dr. Katja Rakow explored how churches in Singapore negotiate state-imposed boundaries according to their growing demand for worship space. Focusing on one specific charismatic megachurch in Singapore whose congregation, for the most part, is organized into small groups, Esther Berg explored the interplay between megachurches and such small groups in Singapore in her talk on "Transcultural Dynamics of Contemporary Christian Small Groups". Matthias Deininger’s talk on “Filling the Moral Void: Christian Evangelicals, Public Morality and the LGBT movement in Singapore” explored the different modes of evangelical public engagement in Singapore by focusing on recent discourses on public morality.

Dr. Katja Rakow, Esther Berg and Matthias Deininger are members of the Junior Research Group “Transcultural Dynamics of Pentecostalism” at the Cluster. The Junior Research Group focuses on the transformation of late-modern charismatic, evangelical and pentecostal moral codes and modes of subjectivation, questions of identity, and the negotiation of different boundaries  in the nexus of globalising processes and localised public spheres in contemporary Singapore.