20. Jun 2022 / 28 min

Spirit Possession in Buddhist Southeast Asia; Worlds Ever More Enchanted

A conversation with Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière and Peter A. Jackson. Hosted by Terese Gagnon.

What is the relationship between Spirit Possession Rituals and Buddhism in mainland Southeast Asia?

How has modernity transformed Spirit Possession cults in the 21st century and what has led to the efflorescence of possession rituals across Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in recent decades?

Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière and Peter A. Jackson joined Terese Gagnon on the Nordic Asia Podcast handing out important insights of their new edited volume Spirit Possession in Buddhist Southeast Asia, Worlds ever More Enchanted that was published with NIAS Press in March 2022. Spirit Possession examines the upsurge of spirit cults and diverse forms of magical ritual in Buddhist Southeast Asia by exploring the interplay of neoliberal capitalism, visual media, the network cultures of the Internet, and the politics of cultural heritage and identity.

Visit the NIAS Press Webshop to find the book and get your copy here.

Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière is an anthropologist at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris and former director of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CASE). She specializes on Burma-Myanmar, where she has conducted regular field research since the 1980s, and has written widely on religion and rituals.

Peter A. Jackson is Emeritus Professor in Thai cultural history at the Australian National University. Over the past four decades, he has written extensively on religion, gender and sexuality in modern Thailand as well as critical approaches to Asian area studies. His ongoing research includes studying media and masculinity in Thai gay cultures and religion and ritual in Thai communities affected by HIV.

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