Adjudicating the Sacred: The Fates of “Native” Religious Endowments in India and Hong Kong

  • Leilah Vevaina
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


Laws governing religious endowments adjudicated how endowments would be governed and taxed, as well as what actually constituted religion and legitimate religious practice. While the Hindu endowment and Muslim waqf were recognized by colonial law, the tong, the Chinese endowment, in British Malaya and Hong Kong, was seen to go against the British rule against perpetuities. Although exceptions were made for religious charitable trusts in India, colonials in Hong Kong did not deem the tong as charitable or religious, relegating it to the world of family inheritance (private) or business and corporate law. Using both ethnographic and historical evidence, this chapter will show how endowments are at once shaped by secular law but also serve to contest and constitute the religious.


Endowments India Hong Kong Tong Mortmain Parsis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic DiversityGoettingenGermany

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