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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... closely through my ethnography on the Munnesvaram temples to arrive at some general propositions about the historical importance of temples in South Asia. Munnesvaram is a complex that draws (and repels) people for a variety of reasons ...
... closely related religious context in Sri Lanka as 'bhakti religiosity' (Obeyesekere 1978), or as evidence of 'Hinduizing trends' in contemporary Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhism (Gombrich 1988). The related context is the Saivite/Buddhist ...
... closely and offer an account of key features of the temples as aesthetic objects involving both design and rite. I stress the dynamism of which the bathing rite bo tree is one small vignette, and I stress the role of the broad body of ...
... closely linked with the regional guardian god whom I discuss below. Vital to the bandara tradition is the weaving of historical figures and geo-political events with such guardian deity traditions (Kapferer 1997a, nd). By the second ...
... closely with the status of the god Siva in the Sinhala Buddhist pantheon where he is known as Isvara. Isvara is a marginal figure who plays a secondary role to his sons Murugan (in Sinhala Buddhism, Kataragama) and Pillaiyar (Gana ...
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