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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... humanity. This book is primarily about the annual festival, a month long event involving thousands of people from all over the country. Those who know temple festivals like Munnesvaram's know that their prime element is people, lots of ...
... human achievements. The Polysemy of the Hindu Sacred in the Conditions of Violence The anthropology of ritual and religion has long recognised the complexity of the relation between power and potentiality as an aspect of the sacred ...
... human suffering. Plan of the Book The plan of the book is to proceed now to a consideration of the social composition of the worshipping patronage of the Munnesvaram temples and to explore aspects of the interplay of social factors in ...
... humans who make offerings to them (Obeyesekere 1984: 61–70). Kali, it appears, has yet to graduate even to the first stage and so remains a ghoulish outsider. She thus contrasts dramatically with the goddess Pattini, the pre-eminent ...
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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