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MEETINGS 2013-2014


375th 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 2014.

A talk by Anthony Irwin.

The Talk:

This 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.

The Speaker::

Anthony 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

..............Want to read more? ....click "HERE" (PDF File for downloading or reading on line - 19 pages).
 

 

 


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