Rebranding the Buddhist Faith: Reformist Buddhism and Piety in Contemporary Singapore


This paper examines the rise of Reformist Buddhism in Singapore and its quest to rebrand the faith in the island-state through the advocation of “Buddhist ideology” as the key emphasis by its practitioners. It argues that instead of “habitually” enacting religious rituals, Reformist Buddhists are concerned with the active reflexive engagement of how the hitherto established dramatization of piety and acquiescence to the elemental tenets of the religion is institutionalized. Drawing on the data from semi-structured interviews conducted with lay Buddhists in Singapore, this study seeks to uncover the principles and practices of Reformist Buddhism and the general opinions on these believers in contemporary Singapore.

Keywords: Buddhism, Piety, Reformist Buddhism, Religion, Singapore

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