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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... pattuva and the outsiders are the temple visitors from all over Sri Lanka. The pattuva villagers are mainly Sinhala Buddhists with a certain number of Tamil Saivites and a number of Roman Catholics (Sinhalese and Tamil). This breakdown ...
... pattuva villages. Residents of these villages have minimal participation with Munnesvaram and what they do have is almost exclusively with the main Munnesvaram temple, and only with that during the annual festival when they sponsor a ...
... pattuva was a meagre 1,008 in 1816 with only sixty-four of these living in Munnesvaram village (Return of the Population of the Island of Ceylon, 1816) – a far cry from the five hundred converts reported by the Jesuits for Munnesvaram ...
... pattuva was paramount. This contributes strongly to the sense of ancient connection that many of the pattuva villagers feel for the Munnesvaram temple. Most importantly, their link is with the main temple, the regional temple, and not ...
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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