HistoriaSG -- Religions in Singapore: A Historical Overview

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National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre, Basement

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Religions in Singapore: A Historical Overview

Singapore’s present-day multi-religious environment has about 200 years of history behind it. Each of the various religious traditions in the city-state has its own story and its own place in Singapore’s historical narrative. This talk will give an overview of history of religion in Singapore, looking at the five largest groups – Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and Christianity and the major landmarks in their growth here. Of particular interest is how several of the traditions have grown and expanded beyond the particular ethnic groups that first introduced them to Singapore.

About the Speaker

Bruce Lockhart is an Associate Professor in the History Department at the National University of Singapore. His area of specialisation is the history of mainland Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. One of his strong interests is teaching the history of Asian culture and religion; he offers undergraduate courses in the history of Southeast Asian Buddhism and global Christianity.

About HistoriaSG

HistoriaSG is a lecture series that focuses on important but lesser-known aspects of Singapore’s history. With in-depth presentations by local and international academics on a range of topics viewed through a variety of lens from business to science and technology, the environment and specific communities, the series sheds new light on Singapore’s culture, history and heritage. Organised by the National Museum of Singapore, HistoriaSG is part of the museum’s efforts to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s history.

This edition is presented in collaboration with the Department of History, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, National University of Singapore.

This lecture will be recorded for educational purposes.

Image above: View of Singapore from Mount Wallich by Percy Carpenter, 1856. This painting showcases the religious diversity in 19th-century Singapore. It features a number of places of worship, such as Al-Abrar Mosque, Thian Hock Keng and Nagore Dargah along Telok Ayer Street, as well as the Cathedral of Good Shepherd in the background.

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National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre, Basement

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