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Look Inside Buddhism and the Spirit Cults in North-East Thailand

Buddhism and the Spirit Cults in North-East Thailand


Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: September 1975
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521099585

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About the Authors
  • Dr Tambiah describes the religious practices and beliefs of the people of a remote village in north-east Thailand, relating them to the wider context of the civilization in which they are embedded, and examining the relationship of the religious practices of the villagers to the classical Buddhist tradition. Because they have based their studies on the Sanskrit and Pali literature, Western observers have tended to dismiss much of the popular manifestation of Buddhism as debased. Dr Tambiah demonstrates that this judgement is misleading, and emphasizes that the contemporary village religion that he describes manifests continuities as well as transformations with respect to the classical literary tradition. The village religion is described primarily through ritual.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1975
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521099585
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the particular and the general
    2. The stage and its setting
    3. Cosmology
    4. Primary village concepts
    5. The institution of monkhood in historical perspective
    6. The rules of conduct for monks, novices, and laymen
    7. The phases of monkhood
    8. The monastic routine and its rewards
    9. The ideology of merit
    10. The cycle of collective wat rites and the agricultural calendar
    11. Death, mortuary rites, and the path to rebirth
    12. Liberation through hearing: the sacred words of the monks
    13. Sukhwan rites: the elders summon the spirit essence
    14. The co-existence of the brahman and the Buddhist monk
    15. The cult of the guardian spirits
    16. Myth and rite: the Naga symbol and the rocket festival
    17. The afflictions caused by malevolent spirits
    18. Exorcism as healing ritual
    19. A kaleidoscopic view of the religious field
    20. The parade of supernaturals
    21. The past and present in the study of religion: continuities and transformations

  • Author

    S. J. Tambiah

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