Religious Dynamics of South East Asia

A Buddhist monk sweeps the road near Hpa-an. Myanmar.

Religious Dynamics of South East Asia


In global comparison, Southeast Asia stands out as a region marked by a particularly diverse religious landscape. Various “ethnic religions” interact with so-called “world religions”, with all of the latter being represented in the region. While religion has often been viewed as an antithesis to modernity, religions in contemporary Southeast Asian societies are not declining; on the contrary, they are intensifying and play a prime role in shaping modernization processes. At the same time, religions in Southeast Asia are as vital and diverse as they are contested.

The network of competence „Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia” (DORISEA) is a research network funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Over twenty researchers from various dis-ciplinary backgrounds based at the Universities of Göttingen, Hamburg, Münster, Heidelberg and Berlin (Humboldt-University) are involved in empirical research across the region, from Laos to Indonesia, and from Malaysia to Vietnam to explore the complex relationship between religion and modernity in Southeast Asia.

With this photo competition, the DORISEA network wishes to visually explore the dynamics of religion in the region in its multiple manifestations, be it religious ritual, every day religious practice or the spatial and material aspects of religion.

Mother of God - procession of villagers in East Nusa Tenggara Province

Mother of God – procession of villagers in East Nusa Tenggara Province. Indonesia. Photographer: Armin Hari

Smile in the crowd

Smile in the crowd – boys celebrate the Islamic New Year in Bogor. Indonesia. Photographer: Dicky Mulianto

A woman cleans incense ash after the celebration of the Chinese New Year

A woman cleans incense ash after the celebration of the Chinese New Year, Indonesia. Photographer: Sigit Adhi Wibowo

An Nadzir followers hug each other and shake hands as they celebrate Idul Adha

An Nadzir followers hug each other and shake hands as they celebrate Idul Adha. Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Photographer: Radil Qamarullah

Diantara Jamaah - a child standing in the middle of a congregation

Diantara Jamaah – a child standing in the middle of a congregation looks back. Malang, Indonesia. Photographer: Muhammad Iqbal

cleaning at Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda

Von Reinheit und Reinigung – cleaning at Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda. Yangon, Myanmar. Photographer: Felix Hessler

>Walking on Ijen Boulevard” /></p>
<p><i>Walking on Ijen Boulevard – Catholic nuns cross Ijen Boulevard in Malang. Indonesia.<br />
  Photographer: <strong>Muhammad Iqbal</strong></i></p>
<p style=elderly couple prays in the midst of earthquake ruins

In May 2006 an elderly couple prays in the midst of earthquake ruins. Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photographer: Ahmad Samsudin

Pray to the Lord - a man prays in a Vinara

Pray to the Lord – a man prays in a Vinara. Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographer: Daniel Suryana

Pray to the Lord - a man prays in a Vinara

A spirit house in the commercial district of Bangkok. Thailand.
Photographer: Katarzyna Ancuta

Quingming Festival in Singapore

Quingming Festival in Singapore. Photographer: Eneko Ertz

A Buddhist monk sweeps the road near Hpa-an. Myanmar.

A Buddhist monk sweeps the road near Hpa-an. Myanmar. Photographer: Branimir Milovanovi

Batak Toba women participate in a Mangokai Holi ritual in North Sumatra.

Batak Toba women participate in a Mangokai Holi ritual in North Sumatra. Indonesia.
Photographer: Hasiholan Siahaan

Three members of a Rohingya family look out from a police van after arriving on a rickety boat

Three members of a Rohingya family look out from a police van after arriving on a rickety boat in Kuraburi. Thailand.
Photographer: Chutima Sidasathian

A woman holds a photo of Mecca, symbolizing her dream to undertake the Hajj

A woman holds a photo of Mecca, symbolizing her dream to undertake the Hajj. Lombok, Indonesia.
Photographer: Willow Paule

Kasadha ritual offerings at the crater of Mount Bromo. Java, Indonesia.

Kasadha ritual offerings at the crater of Mount Bromo. Java, Indonesia. Photographer: Ady Agustian

A young bride is being cleansed by her family as part of a bathing ritual.

A young bride is being cleansed by her family as part of a bathing ritual in Banda Aceh. Indonesia. Photographer: Chaideer Mahyuddin

The DORISEA Network: The competence network “dynamics of religion in Southeast Asia” (DORISEA) is a research network funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated by the Departement of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Göttingen. Scientists from the Universities of Göttingen, Hamburg, Münster, Heidelberg and Berlin (Humboldt University) are involved in several projects that investigate the relationship between religion and modernity in Southeast Asia. You may visit the DORISEA website here. DORISEA also conudct a blog. (multilingual)

This photo competition was displayed on Facebook by Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia (DORISEA) – You can find out more about the photo competition on Facebook.

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