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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... existence).13 The Sanskrit term related to the Sinhala word haskam is ascarya or 'miracle', and its Tamil equivalent is accaryam.14 I prefer Reverend Winslow's (1984) translation of the Tamil – 'marvel' – because a site of haskam such ...
... existence of being both a regional temple (Tm. desam kovil) and a special pilgrimage (or as I shall show antipilgrimage) centre for relief from affliction. There is often a tension between these two existences, a tension that relates to ...
... existence of a powerful assemblage of forces that are not not-profane. In this sense, the sacred is not cosmos where the profane is chaos. It is not limited by notions of order and disorder, but by a principle of becoming and, with that ...
... existence. Partly for this reason, very few of the Sinhala Buddhist visitors to Munnesvaram went to Pusparamaya, leaving the monk with the typical missionary's dilemma of pondering ways of improving his situation. Sinhala Buddhists from ...
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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