The Domain of Constant Excess: Plural Worship at the Munnesvaram Temples in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan ethnic conflict that has occurred largely between Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus is marked by a degree of religious tolerance that sees both communities worshiping together. This study describes one important site of such worship, the ancient Hindu temple complex of Munnesvaram. Standing adjacent to one of Sri Lanka's historical western ports, the fortunes of the Munnesvaram temples have waxed and waned through the years of turbulence, violence and social change that have been the country's lot since the advent of European colonialism in the Indian Ocean. Bastin recounts the story of these temples and analyses how the Hindu temple is reproduced as a center of worship amidst conflict and competition.
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... Indian and Sri Lankan society and history. In order to do so, I shall argue closely through my ethnography on the Munnesvaram temples to arrive at some general propositions about the historical importance of temples in South Asia ...
... Indian descent who lived and worked in Colombo had built the structure. Working for him on the day of the festival bathing rite was a Sinhala Buddhist deity priest who normally ran a small shrine to the Sinhala Buddhist sorcery deity ...
... Indian Tamil 'discovered' a stone sivalinga image which he claimed to be the original linga brought by the god Hanuman from India when, according to the temple origin myth, Munnesvaram was first founded. The Tamil built the temple to ...
... Indian temples,15 this has not meant that the temples remain aloof from the social tensions affecting Sri Lanka. Apart from anything else the priests are Tamil while the majority of worshippers is Sinhalese. Moreover, the presence of ...
... Indian temple in both society and history more generally. Munnesvaram is distinctive for its religious and ethnic blend. Indeed, it is highly unusual. What Munnesvaram reveals through its unique configuration, though, is a capacity of ...
Chapter 3 Myths and Marginality
Chapter 4 Ritual Practices and Religious Identity
Chapter 5 The Saivite Temple as a Monumental Architecture
Puja and Arccanai
Chapter 7 The Presence of Sakti
Chapter 8 Guardians Games and the Formation of Power
Chapter 9 The World Inside Out
Chapter 10 The Domain of Excess
Divine Kings and Regal Gods Temples in Society and History