Christian ‘Extremism’ in Singapore – a seminar by Assoc Prof Natasha Hamilton-Hart (Wed, 19 August 2009)

Speaker: Assoc Prof Natasha Hamilton-Hart (Deputy Head, Southeast Asian Studies Programme National University of Singapore)
Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Time: 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

Synopsis
The idea that Christian extremists could be operating in Singapore became a topic of contention in April 2009, when the takeover of the leadership of a non-governmental organization was subjected to the full force of mainstream media attention and extensive scrutiny on the internet. The takeover was portrayed as a religiously-motivated attempt to take control of a secular organization, raising fears in many quarters about the potential for destabilization of Singapore’s multi-religious society and avowedly secular public sphere. While the takeover was soon reversed and the issue faded from public view, it raised questions about the nature of some Christian groups operating in Singapore. Are there groups in Singapore which merit the label ‘extremist’? Do they present a threat to the secular political order? This seminar presents tentative answers based on an analysis of some materials produced by selected protestant groups.

About the speaker
Natasha Hamilton-Hart is an Associate Professor in the Southeast Asian Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore, where she teaches in the areas of political economy and international relations. Prior to joining NUS, she held a postdoctoral fellowship in International Relations at the Australian National University. She received her PhD (Government) from Cornell University and her BA (Hons) from the University of Otago.