Deathpower: Buddhism's Ritual Imagination in Cambodia by Erik W. Davis

By Erik W. Davis

Drawing on large ethnographic fieldwork in Cambodia, Erik W. Davis notably recasts attitudes towards the character of Southeast Asian Buddhism’s interactions with neighborhood non secular perform and, by means of extension, reorients our knowing of Buddhism itself. via a vibrant research of latest Cambodian Buddhist funeral rites, he finds the powerfully integrative function priests play as they take care of the lifeless and negotiate the interaction of non-Buddhist spirits and formal Buddhist customs. Buddhist clergymen practice funeral rituals rooted within the embodied practices of Khmer rice farmers and the social hierarchies of Khmer tradition. The priests’ awareness of demise underwrites key parts of the Cambodian social mind's eye: the excellence among wild loss of life and celibate existence, the woodland and the sector, and ethical and immoral varieties of energy. through connecting the performative features of Buddhist demise rituals to Cambodian heritage and way of life, Davis undermines the idea that elite Buddhist priests universally oppose rural trust structures. as an alternative, he exhibits Cambodian Buddhism to be a strong culture with moral and renowned parts extending all through Khmer society.

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