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  • 1. Cohen, Paul
    Charismatic Monks of Lanna Buddhism2017Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lanna Buddhism is a variant of Theravada Buddhism that evolved between the 13th and 16th centuries in northern Thailand and spread to neighbouring areas of the Upper Mekong region. A salient feature is the belief in charismatic monks, some of whom are renowned for their asceticism, supernatural powers and strivings to recreate a utopian ‘Buddha-land’. Issues highlighted in the book are the relationship of these charismatic monks to the state and state-controlled monkhood (sangha), the tendency for religious construction to spill over into economic development activities, and the diversity of lowland and highland devotional communities from Thailand and Myanmar.

    The book also explores contemporary influences on this religious tradition: the continuing marginalization of highland minorities and consequent devotion to messianic leaders, the incorporation for Lanna holy men into a national constellation of popular charismatic monks, the commercialization of Buddhism, and the patronage of wealthy urban elites.

    Charismatic Monks of Lanna Buddhism will appeal to scholars within the fields of Buddhist studies, Thai studies and the anthropology of religion as well as to those with an interest in the study of contemporary religious change in Thailand.

  • 2. Endres, Kirsten W.
    Performing the Divine: Mediums, Markets and Modernity in Urban Vietnam2011Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vietnam in the last two decades has experienced not only market reform and significant economic growth but also a related, symbiotic revival of popular religion. It is no surprise, then, that popular beliefs and rituals that once were attacked as wasteful and superstitious have again become a conspicuous feature of contemporary urban and rural life.

    A new blossoming of spirit mediumship has been part of this revival, not least that involving ritual possession by the deities of the Four Palace Pantheon, which this study based in urban Hanoi brings to life with a deft handling of complex theory, historical research, ethnographic material and analysis.

    This is indeed a sojourn into the world of mediumship in contemporary urban Vietnam - a spirited world full of colour, laughter, music and ritual dance that operates according to its own rules and principles - but it is also an insightful study of spirituality, performance, gender and heritage, one that highlights the fluidity of ritual practice and contestations of ritual performance among practitioners.

  • 3. Fischer, Johan
    Proper Islamic Consumption: Shopping among the Malays in Modern Malaysia2011Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The West has seen the rise of the organic movement. In the Muslim world, a similar halal movement is rapidly spreading. Exploring consumption practices in urban Malaysia, this book shows how diverse forms of Malay middle-class consumption (of food, clothing and cars, for example) are understood, practised and contested as a particular mode of modern Islamic practice.

    The book illustrates ways in which the issue of ‘proper Islamic consumption’ for consumers, the marketplace and the state in contemporary Malaysia evokes a whole range of contradictory Islamic visions, lifestyles and debates articulating what Islam is or ought to be. Its rich empirical material on everyday consumption in a local context will reinvigorate theoretical discussions about the nature of religion, ritual, the sacred and capitalism in the new millennium.

  • 4. Frisk, Sylva
    Submitting to God: Women and Islam in Urban Malaysia2009Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent decades, Malaysia has been profoundly changed by forces of globalization, modernization and industrialization, as well as by a strong Islamization process.  It has been argued, that the position of Malay women in society has worsened.  This study however, challenges that assumption through exploration of the everyday religious practices of pious women within Kuala Lumpur’s affluent, Malay middle class.

    Here, women play an active part in the Islamization process not only through heightened personal religiosity but also by organizing and participating in public programmes of religious education. By organizing new forms of collective ritual and assuming new public roles as religious teachers, these religiously educated women are transforming the traditionally male-dominated gendered space of the mosque and breaking men’s monopoly over positions of religious authority.  This book challenges both preconceptions of the nature of Islamization as well as current theories of female agency and power.

  • 5. Hew, Wai Weng
    Chinese Ways of Being Muslim: Negotiating Ethnicity and Religiosity in Indonesia2017 (ed. 1st)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many recent works on Muslim societies have pointed to the development of ‘de-culturalization’ and ‘purification’ of Islamic practices. Instead, by exploring architectural designs, preaching activities, cultural celebrations, social participations and everyday practices, this book describes and analyses the formation and contestation of Chinese Muslim cultural identities in today’s Indonesia. Chinese Muslim leaders strategically promote their unique identities by rearticulating their histories and cultivating ties with Muslims in China. Yet, their intentional mixing of Chineseness and Islam does not reflect all aspects of the multilayered and multifaceted identities of ordinary Chinese Muslims – there is not a single ‘Chinese way of being Muslim’ in Indonesia. Moreover, the assertion of Chinese identity and Islamic religiosity does not necessarily imply racial segregation and religious exclusion, but can act against them.      The study thus helps us to understand better the cultural politics of Muslim and Chinese identities in Indonesia, and gives insights into the possibilities and limitations of ethnic and religious cosmopolitanism in contemporary societies.

  • 6. Hew, Wai Weng
    Chinese Ways of Being Muslim: Negotiating Ethnicity and Religiosity in Indonesia2017 (ed. 1st)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many recent works on Muslim societies have pointed to the development of ‘de-culturalization’ and ‘purification’ of Islamic practices. Instead, by exploring architectural designs, preaching activities, cultural celebrations, social participations and everyday practices, this book describes and analyses the formation and contestation of Chinese Muslim cultural identities in today’s Indonesia. Chinese Muslim leaders strategically promote their unique identities by rearticulating their histories and cultivating ties with Muslims in China. Yet, their intentional mixing of Chineseness and Islam does not reflect all aspects of the multilayered and multifaceted identities of ordinary Chinese Muslims – there is not a single ‘Chinese way of being Muslim’ in Indonesia. Moreover, the assertion of Chinese identity and Islamic religiosity does not necessarily imply racial segregation and religious exclusion, but can act against them.      The study thus helps us to understand better the cultural politics of Muslim and Chinese identities in Indonesia, and gives insights into the possibilities and limitations of ethnic and religious cosmopolitanism in contemporary societies.

  • 7. Schönbeck, Oluf
    All Religions Merge in Tranquebar: Religious Coexistence and Social Cohesion in South India2012Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With globalization helping those who assert incompatible differences between their respective faiths, clashes of faith are increasingly common in different parts of the world. As a result, the study of religious conflict is also increasing.

    This book reverses that perspective by addressing a case of peaceful religious coexistence and social cohesion, namely in the South Indian village of Tranquebar (Tharangambadi) in Tamil Nadu. The birthplace of the Lutheran mission to India in 1706, this former Danish colonial settlement is now a famous heritage site.

    Although badly hit by the 2004 tsunami and today numerically dominated by members of a Hindu fishermen’s caste, so far the town has managed to steer clear of the kind of religious conflicts too often found in a number of states in present-day India, including Tamil Nadu. This in-depth study, based on post-tsunami field studies in 2006 and 2007, examines the ways in which Hindus, Muslims and different Christian denominations interact in their day-to-day lives. Further, it demonstrates that the role played by religion – as far as social cohesion is concerned – is invariably tied up with several other factors (social stratification, economic development, educational institutions and such social communities as caste councils, etc.) and may serve as a basis for unity as well as division.

  • 8. Terwiel, Barend Jan
    Monks and Magic: Revisiting a Classic Study of Religious Ceremonies in Thailand2012Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    First published in 1975, B.J. Terwiel’s Monks and Magic remains a widely cited text. This is an absorbing study of Buddhism as practised at that time in a community in rural Central Thailand, describing how esoteric spells and magical diagrams were the main interest of children and adolescents but full ritual knowledge was obtained in adulthood and tempered by life experiences. As death approaches, the Buddhist world view stimulates merit-making.

    This reproduction of the 1979 second revised edition is augmented by new material on magic and Buddhism in Southeast Asia by Professor Terwiel, a renowned specialist on the social and cultural history of Thailand.

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