Conversion and the Family: Chinese Hare Krishnas

Ashvin Parameswaran, Rodney Sebastian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The multi-cultural and multi-religious context of the globalised world often results in unlikely interactions between the triad of people, cultures, and religion. The result may be that people embrace divergent systems of beliefs. This article explores the dynamics of such interaction within the private domain of the family, when ethnic Chinese adopt an alien faith, that of the Hare Krishna. Four typologies of interactions between convert and family members are proposed, ranging from the most volatile to the most harmonious. These are categorised as contentious, neutral, accommodative, and supportive. The combinations of factors that lead to each type of interaction, such as family-convert relationship, religious identity of family member, residence of the convert, family members' perception of the Hare Krishna, and the extent of external practices adopted by the converts, are discussed. In particular, qualitative comparative analysis is applied to investigate how these variables combine to lead to each typology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-359
    JournalJournal of Contemporary Religion
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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