Special Issue "Chinese Temples and Rituals in Southeast Asia"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Kenneth Dean

Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore,10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260, Singapore
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Chinese religion; Chinese temples and networks in Southeast Asia; Daoist studies; local communal religion; spirit possession; religion and ecology; material culture; ritual theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chinese historical and epigraphic sources such as those collected in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by Wolfgang Franke and his associates demonstrate the long process of the spread of Chinese temples and associations to the port cities of Southeast Asia (Franke and Ch’en 1980–85; Franke et.al, 1988–97; Franke, 1998). However only a few scholars have published studies on these temples and their rituals and communities, even though additional primary sources are now available (see shgis.edu.nus.sg) (Dean and Hue, 2017, Chinese Epigraphy of Singapore: 1810–1911, Singapore: NUS Press.). This special issue includes papers on different aspects of Chinese temples (including Buddhist monasteries) across the countries of Southeast Asia, from a range of disciplinary perspectives. We include papers on architectural and iconographic features of temples; the ritual production of space within and around these temples; the economics of Chinese temples; the charitable activities of Chinese temples; accounts of individuals and their relationships with these temples – temple directors, everyday devotees, ritual specialists, archivists, photographers, tourists, etc. Some essays provide an overview of temple networks in one site or across Southeast Asia, or comment on the political conditions for Chinese temples in different locations.

Temples are sites through which flow crowds of sensations, people, gods, ideas, capital, food, and ritual artifacts – a great many kinds of movements and transformations – thus papers exploring mobility in relation to Chinese temples are included in this issue. Papers on religion and migration, on the circulation or the training of ritual specialists, opera troupes, craftsmen and ritual artifacts within transnational networks are included. Topics covered include spirit mediums and their roles in Chinese temples, processions and major and minor rituals, and typologies of temples. Some papers use social network analysis or GIS approaches to analyze Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. Other papers explore major religious events of Southeast Asia, such as the Nine Emperor God Festival, Chinese New Year rites and processions, or ritual activities during the Ghost Month, either through individual case studies or through comparative or network analyses. Papers cover locally invented cults and rites, hybrid ritual forms, and the interactions between Chinese temple rites and communities and other religious or ethnic groups. Some papers discuss the spread of particular Buddhist lineages, or sectarian religious movements, through the region. Others provide comparative studies of ritual change and its causes and effects, or of the different kinds of trust networks and state-society relations developed within and between Chinese temples in different parts of Southeast Asia. Taken together, this collection of papers marks a milestone in the study of the religious and ritual aspects of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia.

Prof. Kenneth Dean
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Chinese temples in Southeast Asia
  • ritual events
  • trust networks
  • material culture
  • Buddhist lineages
  • sectarian movements

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
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