meeting : “Sima Space in Thailand and Beyond: Tracking the Importance of Theravada Buddhist Space from Ancient Lanka to Mid Nineteenth-Century Siam."
Tuesday May 13th
talk by Anthony Irwin.
talk will introduce and explore the criminally understudied topic of
sima space, the specially demarcated area that consecrates
uposatha-halls (พระอุโบสถ) in which various monastic ceremonies must be
held. We will tour the Theravadin world, both geographically and
historically, visiting different times and places in which the
specifics of sima space consecration, and exegetical arguments
concerning proper installation methods and measurements thereof, proved
crucial to development of Theravadin history. It may seem strange that
the course of religious history was steered by concerns over how to
delimit spaces of only few square meters in area, but questions of sima
space purity served as the inciting factors in the reported
establishment of Buddhism in Lanka, the fifteenth-century Burmese
Kalyani reformation, and the mid-nineteenth century Siamese Thammayut
reformation. In short, without a firm understanding of sima space, it
is almost impossible to
understand Theravada Buddhism as it has developed over the past two millennia.
Lovenheim Irwin is a PhD candidate in the department of Languages and
Cultures of Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison currently
conducting dissertation research on his project “Building Buddhism in
Chiang Rai, Thailand: Construction as Religion” under a US Fulbright
grant. His dissertation takes seriously the act of construction as a
religious activity in Northern Thailand. He has been traveling between
Northern Thailand and America for the past seven years, and is happy to
consider Chiang Rai his home. Visit him on the web atanthonylovenheimirwin.com
read more? ....click "HERE"
(PDF File for downloading or reading on line - 19 pages).