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Religious Regionalism

Can you explain what exactly is religious regionalism using Southeast Asia as an example.

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Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. Having grown up in South East Asia (Philippines & Thailand), I can give you a perspective on religion and regionalism firsthand. Good luck with your studies.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Religious Regionalism in South East Asia

Regionalism is the tendency of certain populations, territories and peoples to put up prejudices and ethno-political divides that become a barrier towards creating working relationships for the development of the larger society. This has to do with the notion of power but also with the notion of protectionism - those belonging to the particular group that seeks 'protection' feel that there is a need to do such an act as they do not feel connected to or are inclined to work with other peoples and groups because of perceived social, political, ethnic and religious differences. Of these, one of the biggest barriers that create regionalism is the religious barrier as it pushes people and groups otherwise of the same nation to work against each other leading to disagreements that spill out to bloody conflicts. This becomes much worse when religious beliefs become entangled with ideological beliefs creating radical perspectives that lead to rebellion and war. American political thinker Samuel Huntington proposed that South East Asia is divided across 'civilization faultlines' foremost of which is religious differences. Below, I will explain how these differences came about throughout the region's shared history as this will quantify my answer to what religious regionalism is and if it is absent in countries with one single faith. While I have explained religious regionalism above, my view on the latter is this - religious regionalism is not absent in countries with single faith as denominations and political plays between families of influence can also instigate religious-tinged violence and conflict. For more on this, see the case of the Ampatuans on the section 'Violence & religious Regionalism' below.

A Look into the Religious Influences of SEA

South East Asia is that region in Asia that is comprised of the following nations - Brunei, East Timor, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore & the Philippines. Part of the region is in Mainland Asia in the peninsula known as Indochina while the rest are archipelago nations scattered around the peninsula in the waters of the South Pacific, South China Sea, Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean. The region is tropical and the nations - either archipelagic or within the peninsula, enjoy stretches of beaches and swathes of jungles with the underdeveloped nations (i.e. Laos) still with prime forests. The ancient history of the region prior to the arrival of colonialism (and colonial masters) is one of a related group of people - the region is inhabited by Austronesians and ethnicities referred to as Malay or Indones - ancient 'peoples' who, after the ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information,assistance and advice in putting together a paper that provides a comprehensive discussion on the topic of religious regionalism, with a particular focus on the countries of Southeast Asia,discussing religious influences,the role of violence and the region's history.