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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... Conditions of Violence 8 Plan of the Book 11 Chapter 2 Fluidity and Ambiguity in the History of Munnesvaram 15 The Temples and Their Deities 19 The Social Composition of Worship 26 Temple Ownership 34 Chapter 3 Myths and Marginality 43 ...
... condition of excess. This is at no time more so than during the annual festival, a potent rite of renewal when the ritual condition of possibility floods the temple complex as a mass of worshipping humanity. This book is primarily about ...
... conditions for the trance activity, but they do not expect it, nor do they really want it. In 1994, nearly a decade after my first Munnesvaram festival, the spontaneous trance was even greater, with only a tiny few of the same people ...
... conditions for such potency to be continually re-expressed. While lacking a lay trust means that Munnesvaram does not display the same kinds of local social dramas described for other south Indian temples,15 this has not meant that the ...
... conditions of cosmic possibility through which the temple becomes many things to many people and becomes, as a result, an essential element in the articulation of difference in South Asian society and history. It does this primarily ...
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