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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... Ethnicity Sacrifice Sorcery Trance Maniyan Sorcery and Protection at the Munnesvaram Temple Sinhala Buddhism and Its Radical Temporality Popular Religion as a Practice of Resistance The Saivite Temple as a Monumental Architecture ...
... Ethnic Research Centre, University of Bergen, where I was the guest of Yngve Lithman. For their comments and helpful suggestions at different stages I thank Nilu Abeyaratne, I.V. Edirisinghe, Tom Ernst, Kingsley Garbett, Don Handelman ...
... ethnic identity. Thus, while orientations to Munnesvaram and its significance vary widely, they all share the sense that Munnesvaram is a temple complex of great importance. The two principal temples – the Munnesvaram temple and the ...
... ethnic politics. Both groups have been highly influential in the Munnesvaram complex, but have not been able to dominate in the way they have done at other temple complexes, because they have lacked executive power. This lacuna has ...
... ethnic blend. Indeed, it is highly unusual. What Munnesvaram reveals through its unique configuration, though, is a capacity of the temple to create the conditions of cosmic possibility through which the temple becomes many things to ...
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