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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... nature of this world mo ̄daham (Tm.) – modaka (Skt.) – special type of sweet pastry linked particularly to the god Pillaiyar mohana (Skt.) – 'bewildering', a type of sorcery mokßa (Skt.) – release from existential fetters (and rebirth) ...
... nature of bodily decay; an iconographic feature of representations of the deity Aiyanayake Sevvai (Tm.) – Mars sikkhara (Skt.) – the crest or peak, the pinnacle of any shrine tower Sikuru (Sinh.) – Venus Silappadikåram (Tm.) – 'The ...
... nature of 'bhakti religiosity' (Gombrich and Obeyesekere 1988) and thereby link it to processes of social transformation, specifically urbanisation, my interpretation is concerned with how a temple complex like Munnesvaram enables ...
... composition of the body of worshippers and I examine the nature of the physical location of the Munnesvaram complex in the religious topography of the island. The social composition of worship raises – 6– The Domain of Constant Excess.
... nature and content of worship, and thereby lessened the excluding influence of major interest groups such as members of the Tamil Saivite middle class as well as the Sinhala Buddhist middle class. Both middle-class Tamils and Sinhalese ...
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