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Chinese Hell deity worship in contemporary Singapore and Malaysia

This study investigates contemporary Chinese Underworld traditions in Singapore and Malaysia, where the veneration of Hell deities is particularly popular. Highlighting the Taoist and Buddhist cosmologies on which present-day beliefs and practices are based, the book provides unique insights into the lived tradition, taking alterity seriously and interpreting practitioners’ beliefs without bias. First-person dialogues between the author and channelled Underworld deities challenge wider discourses concerning the interrelationships between sociocultural and spiritual worlds, promoting the de-stigmatisation of spirit possession and non-physical phenomena in the academic study of mystical and religious traditions.

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The earliest recollections of Tua Di Ya Pek embodied
Fabian Graham

’s altar ( Plate 16 ), and Di Ya Pek’s hefty statue is placed parallel, in front of Zhu Sheng Niang-niang. The oral evidence therefore indicates that the application of opium to Tua Di Ya Pek’s tongues originated at this temple and only later spread throughout the tang-ki- centric Singapore–Malaysian Chinese Underworld tradition. Moreover, the following narratives suggest that Penang Chenghuangmiao’s Tua Ya Pek mythology not only initiated the later opium-smoking tradition among tang-ki but also helped to furnish the deity’s prototypical

in Voices from the Underworld