Transnational religious connections across and beyond Southeast Asia

Panel organised by: Mirjam Lücking (Hebrew University Jerusalem & Southeast ASIA working group of the DGA)


Panel topic

Contemporary transnational mobility and global connections in the religious sphere (e.g.:Pilgrimage tourism, religiously motivated labor migration, transnational religious institutions, religious commerce and welfare activities, internet-based transnational connections)

Panel description

Religion is a driving force for border crossing activities among Southeast Asians. These activities concern spiritual as well as economic, and in some cases ideological motivations. They are relevant among ordinary believers, religious experts, and entrepreneurs. Indonesia defines itself as the world’s best halal tourism destination, challenging perceptions of center and periphery in the Muslim World, Filipina labor migrants take on jobs in Israel’s care work sector, not only caring for individuals and caring for their financial income but also “caring for the Holy Land” (Liebelt 2011) in a spiritual way; and Singaporean Pentecostals target Taiwanese and American markets with their spiritual entertainment (Chong 2018) – to name just a few examples from the field of vibrantly changing and highly productive transnational religious-economic activities in and beyond Southeast Asia.

This panel seeks to explore case studies, concepts, and theories in the study of religiously motivated transnational mixed-migration, tourism, and entrepreneurship among Southeast Asians. It invites paper submissions that tackle one or more of the following questions:

  • What role does transnational mobility play in ordinary believers’ lives?
  • What role does transnational mobility play for clerics, religious organizations, and institutional change?
  • How are new forms of transnational mobility and connections across and beyond Southeast Asia related to perceptions of the world and socio-cultural identity formations?
  • In what ways are spiritual and economic activities in transnational religiously motivated mobility interrelated?
  • What does transnational religiously motivated mobility reflect about inter- and intrareligious togetherness in Southeast Asia?

We aim at an interdisciplinary discussion with contributions from various disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Furthermore, we hope that we can include researchers from Southeast Asia, thanks to the digital format of the conference.

Mirjam Lücking will give an introduction and Claudia Derichs will participate as a discussant.

Paper proposal

  • By submitting the above panel proposal I authorise the German Association for Asian Studies (DGA) and the conference organisers to store, process and publish my personal data collected in the above paper proposal form for the purpose of preparing, organising and documenting the German Association for Asian Studies’ (DGA) biannual Conference on Contemporary Asia 2019 (“the conference”) and as far as necessary for the fulfilment of the statuary purpose of the association (§ 2 DGA statutes). At the same time I agree that my participation in the conference may be recorded audio-visually and that this material may be published within the context of reporting on the conference in printed materials as well as online. The DGA and the conference organisers will store and process all personal data in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.