The integrative potential of religion in Singapore

The integrative potential of religion in Singapore


POINT OF VIEW

With this growing influx of migrants, we're seeing much greater complexity within the resident population here. While there's a strong degree of alignment between the pre-existing racial and religious groups here in Singapore, the new migrants are creating more diversity within these categories.

Orlando Woods

Associate Professor of Geography


In brief

  • By bringing diverse groups of people together, religious organisations can play an important role in managing the complexity of diversity.
  • Integration is not something that churches work towards or develop themselves. However, this may be a missed opportunity since they already have ready multi-ethnic and multi-cultural communities to engage.
  • Churches reproduce spacial divisions within congregations as they segregate the people who attend these services into different rooms and community-based factors like language.

The integrative potential of religion in Singapore

Assistant Professor of Humanities Orlando Woods from SMU’s School of Social Sciences has a keen research interest in areas including religion, cities and urban landscapes, digital technologies, space, and social and cultural geography.

He has published a research paper on the role of Christianity in migrant integration in Singapore, and has received a grant from the Singapore Ministry of Education to conduct further research on this subject. Titled ‘New Religious Pluralism in Singapore: Migration, Integration and Difference”, the study seeks to better understand new types of socio-cultural diversity in Singapore.

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In this podcast, Assistant Professor Woods discusses the role of whether religion enables or dis-enables migrant integration into Singapore.


Inside the mind of

Orlando Woods serves as Associate Professor of Geography; Associate Dean (Research and Postgraduate Programmes); Course Coordinator for Big Questions and Lee Kong Chian Fellow at Singapore Management University. His research focuses on Religion, Cities & Urban Landscapes, Digital Technologies, Space and Social & Cultural Geography. He also teaches Big Questions (Happiness and Suffering) and Digital Cultures at SMU.