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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... priests. This is important because through their ownership the priests have remained instrumental in determining the nature and content of worship, and thereby lessened the excluding influence of major interest groups such as members of ...
... priests and/or devotees. The region is ethnically ambiguous and the local dialect is a Sinhala-Tamil mixture. However, a large portion of the devotional population comes from outside and they come to Munnesvaram for its special power to ...
... priests of the Munnesvaram temple, who are Tamil Saivite Brahmins, and the villagers of the surrounding area who are mostly Sinhala Buddhists. Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict does, at times, pervade these relations, but in accordance with ...
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Chapter 2 Fluidity and Ambiguity in the History of Munnesvaram
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