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Story of the Month - October 2017

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

How does urban restructuring affect religious communities?


Centre member Prof. Huang Weishan’s research was centered on this question. Trained as a sociologist, Prof. Huang has done fieldwork on religious communities in New York and Shanghai.

中心成員黃維珊教授的研究圍繞著這個問題。 作為社會學家,黃教授曾在紐約和上海對當地的宗教群體進行田野研究。

One of her field site is the Jing’an Temple in in Shanghai. Located in a busy commercial district, this shiny golden temple is one of the three historical temples in the city. During the Cultural Revolution, the temple was severely destroyed. “Not even a bench was left”, says one of her informants. The temple was then turned into a factory. In the 1980s, it was restored into its current form with the support of the government. Prof. Huang found that the temple’s abbot played a vital role in gathering support and resources from the government and local community for the temple’s revival. 上海靜安寺是她的田野考察點之一。 這座金碧輝煌的寺廟位於繁華的商業區,是上海三大名寺之一。 文革期間,寺廟遭到嚴重破壞。 她的報導人說,寺廟裏甚至連一張凳子都沒剩下。 寺廟後來變成一座工廠。 八十年代,在政府的支持下,寺廟被重建成現在的形式。 黃教授發現,寺廟的方丈在重建過程起著至關重要的作用,向政府和當地社區爭取支持和資源。

Prof. Huang’s research shows that rapid modernization and urbanization do not necessarily bring a secularized society. Religion remains important in the lives of many.


Photo of Jing’an Temple in Shanghai (by Weishan Huang)

上海靜安寺 (圖:黃維珊)


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