Spirit Possession in Buddhist Southeast Asia: Worlds Ever More Enchanted

E-book
Publisher:
NIAS Press
Editorial review:
Peer-reviewed

Edited by Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière & Peter A. Jackson

In dramatic contrast to the reported growing influence of doctrinal and fundamentalist forms of religion in some parts of Southeast Asia, the predominantly Buddhist societies of the region are witnessing an upsurge of spirit possession cults and diverse forms of magical ritual. This is found in many social strata, including the urban poor, rising middle classes and elite groups, and across the different political systems of Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This volume reveals both the central historical place of spirit possession rituals in the Buddhist cultures of mainland Southeast Asia and their important contemporary roles to enhance prosperity and protection. This book examines the increasing prominence of spirit mediumship and divination across the region by exploring the interplay of neoliberal capitalism, visual media, the network cultures of the Internet, and the politics of cultural heritage and identity. It advances beyond critiques of the “secularization” and “disenchantment” theses to explore the processes of modernity that are actively producing magical worldviews and stimulating the rise of spirit cults. As such, it not only challenges the assumptions of modernization theory but demonstrates that the cults in question are novel ritual forms that emerge out of inherently modern conditions.

Click here to access

Spirit Possession in Buddhist Southeast Asia: Worlds Ever More Enchanted

Terms of use

The licensed databases may only be used for personal and scientific purposes, as well as for research and educational purposes. It is strictly forbidden to change, rewrite, systematically copy, redistribute, sell, publish or in any way use the material for commercial purposes.
Systematic and/or automated duplication of content, such as but not limited to, text-mining and data-mining is not allowed without prior consent from NIAS.  Please contact the NIAS Library for further information.
All usage is subject to the Privacy Policy of the AsiaPortal.