1991 Fiscal Year Final Research Report Summary
Religion and Society in Theravada Buddhist Cultures : South East Asia, Yunnan and Sri Lanka.
Grant-in-Aid for international Scientific Research
|Allocation Type||Single-year Grants |
|Research Institution||National Museum of Ethonology, Osaka. |
TANABE Shigeharu Associate Professor, Second Research Department, National Museum of Ethnology. -> 国立民族学博物館, 第二研究部, 助教授 (00045262)
NIMAL Kastur ペラデニヤ大学, 医学部, 準教授
HAYASHI Yukio Research Associate, Second Research Department, National Museum of Ethnology., 第二研究部, 助手 (60208634)
HASEGAWA Kiyoshi Lecturer, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Syotoku Gakuen Gifu Educational University, 外国語学部, 講師 (70208479)
TANAKA Masakazu Associate Professor, Institute for Humanities, Kyoto University., 人文科学研究所, 助教授 (00188335)
TAKATANI Michio Associate Professor, Faculty of Human Science, Hiroshima University., 総合科学部, 助教授 (70154789)
ADACHI Akira Associate Professor, Faculty of Letters, Hokkaido University., 文学部, 助教授 (90212513)
SHIBUYA Toshio Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Wako University., 人文学部, 助教授 (70196450)
TAMURA Katsumi Associate Professor, Second Research Department, National Museum of Ethnology., 第二研究部, 助教授 (40094156)
IMAMURA Hitoshi Professor, Faculty of Economics, Tokyo Economic University., 経済学部, 教授 (60096378)
NIMAL Kasturiaratch Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya.
|Project Period (FY)
1989 – 1991
|Keywords||Theravada Buddhism / Spirit Cults / South East Asia / Xishuang Banna / Religion and Social Change / Sri Lanka / Rituals|
This three-year research project was carried out from 1988 to 1992 in order to elucidate the relationship between religious phenomena and society in Theravada Buddhist South and South East Asia, covering such areas as Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos and Xishuang Banna of Southwestern Yunnan, China. Within this broad theme a series of extensive and intensive field-work was conducted in those countries by twelve Japanese and three foreign (Thai and Sri Lankan) anthropologists and related social scientists focusing on various subject matters.
The scope of the research is set out in terms of the following topics to understand the religious complexity of the Theravada Buddhist societies in which Buddhist beliefs and practices are structurally interwoven with those of more localized spirit cults, constituting a religious system of the societies : 1) Buddhist and non-Buddhist ideas and perceptions on cosmology, salvation, renunciation and this worldly activities ; 2) their related ritual prac
tices including calendrical rituals, healing rites, meditation, spirit-possession and sacrificial rituals ; 3) institutional aspects of Buddhist sangha and non-Buddhist spirit cults, and their transformation ; 4) social and religious changes as experienced during the past few decades ; and 5) the relationship between Buddhism and spirit cults, and their political articulation.
The individual studies carried out in the researcher's specialist areas, combined with extensive knowledge obtained from other areas, have thrown light on the following points : 1) the religious complexity would be best understood as a practical religion in terms of its ritual practices and the cultural construction of knowledge in the society ; 2) Buddhist rituals and spirit cults are currently growing and transforming in response to the on-going social insecurity and instability, not only in the urban transformation, but also in the peripheries ; 3) Buddhism and spirit cults have traditionally related to the legitimation of political power and authority at different levels and in different ways, and their transformation involves newly emerging dispersal of political power ; and 4) the recent emergence of religious movements, whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist, in certain societies reflect current diversification and fragmentation of the experiences of the people, particularly in urban settings.
These problematics and points will be extensively illustrated and investigated in a forthcoming volume entitled Anthropology of practical religion : The world of Theravada Buddhism (in Japanese) to be published in 1992. Less
Research Products (14 results)