The Domain of Constant Excess: Plural Worship at the Munnesvaram Temples in Sri Lanka
Berghahn Books, Dec 1, 2002 - Social Science - 254 pages
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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Crucially, the temple aesthetic is, in my analysis, the fundamental expression of divinity and not simply its representational signification. In the broad approach I take to the aesthetic of Munnesvaram as both form and practice, ...
Moreover, the presence of two temples, one run by vegetarian Brahmins the other by non-vegetarian non-Brahmins, enables the complex to express in a refractive manner (and not simply reflect or represent) the activities of sections of ...
I state that the temples express in a refractive manner, rather than reflect or represent, in order to stress that temples do not simply reflect social relations whose reality lies elsewhere, rather they constitute nodal points in the ...
Finally, having moved through a detailed presentation of the festival I return to the question of the relationship between the Hindu temple and its world, a world of complex social relations not simply reducible to a sense of a singular ...
Its 'inside story' is not simply a journalistic scoop about what really happened, rather it is a powerful insight into the nature of the surface appearance of crisis as an irruption in the social field of otherwise embedded social ...
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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
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The Domain of Constant Excess: Plural Worship at the Munnesvaram Temples in ...
No preview available - 2002