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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... example, all are elements of the relations between the priests of the Munnesvaram temple, who are Tamil Saivite Brahmins, and the villagers of the surrounding area who are mostly Sinhala Buddhists. Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict does, at ...
... example, the Saiva/Vaisnava (Visnu-centred) distinction obtains more strongly and there is a markedly greater presence of Brahmin castes) I shall use the label 'Tamil Saivism' throughout this book as a counterpart to the category ...
... example, is one where the concepts of social drama and extended case method reveal the force of structural ... examples, and set against a history of Roman Catholicism in Sri Lanka. Relevant to my work, Stirrat explores how attendance at ...
... examples illustrate how the area around Munnesvaram displays a history of shifting political fortunes and alliances that have linked the area at different times to different kingdoms. The proximity of Panduvasnuwara situates the temples ...
... example, have survived murderous Sinhalese mobs during ethnic riots because the rioters could not guess their ethnicity.23 The combination of these very loose ethnic markers with the style of behaviour in the temple served as my primary ...
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