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Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China.pdf | Language: English
    Paul Williams(Editor),Patrice Ladwig(Editor)

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The centrality of death rituals has rarely been documented in anthropologically informed studies of Buddhism. Bringing together a range of perspectives including ethnographic, textual, historical and theoretically informed accounts, this edited volume presents the diversity of the Buddhist funeral cultures of mainland Southeast Asia and China. While the contributions show that the ideas and ritual practices related to death are continuously transformed in local contexts through political and social changes, they also highlight the continuities of funeral cultures. The studies are based on long-term fieldwork and covering material from Theravāda Buddhism in Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and various regions of Chinese Buddhism, both on the mainland and in the Southeast Asian diasporas. Topics such as bad death, the feeding of ghosts, pollution through death, and the ritual regeneration of life show how Buddhist cultures deal with death as a universal phenomenon of human culture.

"... offers a carefully arranged selection of pieces on Buddhist funerary practices from Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka ... [Its] greatest strength is surely the level of substantive ethnographic detail it provides for a potentially overlooked area of Buddhist life in East and Southeast Asia, fleshed out through the implicit connections between chapters ... will be mainly of interest to students of Buddhism, and primarily those working in Chinese or Theravadin contexts ..." Callum Pearce, Mortality Death rituals and Buddhist imagery of the afterlife have been central to the development and spread of Buddhism as a social and textual tradition. Bringing together ethnographic, historical and theoretically informed accounts, the book presents in-depth studies of the Buddhist funeral cultures of mainland Southeast Asia and China.

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