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Religious Subjectification. Dr Adam Yuet Chau

When looking at a particular religious tradition we can heuristically distinguish two crucial aspects. One aspect is the system of ideas, symbols, and ritual practices that make up this particular religious tradition. The other aspect is the mechanisms through which people mobilise this system of ideas, symbols, and ritual practices and are in turn mobilised by it. This second aspect we can call religious subjectification, i.e., how a certain kind of person (i.e. religious subject) is made through the dynamic interaction between ‘the system’ and ‘the people’ (this perspective of course owes its inspiration to Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault).

Dr Chau has published on religious subjectification in the following articles:

2011. ‘做“善事”还是构建“善世”?―宗教入世与宗教主体化在中国’ (Providing Public Goods or Constructing a Good Public?: Social Engagement and Religious Subjectification in China) (in <宗教人类学> (The Journal of the Anthropology of Religion), Vol. 3: 153-171.

2013. ‘Religious Subjectification: Cherishing Written Traces and Being a Ciji (Tzu Chi) Person’ (宗教主體化: ‘敬惜字紙’ 與‘做慈濟人’) , in Chinese Popular Religion: Linking Fieldwork and Theory, edited by Chang Hsun 張珣. Taipei: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, pp. 75-113.