meeting : "Buddhism Across Borders: Religious Revivalism in Palaung Comminities."
Tuesday 26 May
talk by Sean Ashley
important are ethnic, regional and national distinctions within
Buddhism today? This talk will explore this question in relation to
monastic networks and Buddhist revivalist movements in Palaung villages
across northern Thailand. Since the early 1980s Palaung communities
have migrated from Burma to Thailand creating transnational religious
channels that help foster distinct Palaung Buddhist traditions
throughout the region. At the same time, state supported Buddhist
missionary monks and charismatic khruba holy men famed for their
miraculous powers have established themselves within Palaung villages
where they promote their own brands of Buddhism. Like Palaung monastic
networks, the movements of khruba holy men are transnational in scope,
but rooted within the regional imaginary of the old Lanna kingdoms.
This presentation will look at the tension between national, regional
and local Buddhist identities, and how these distinctions relate to the
social position of Palaung communities within the region today.
Sean Ashley has being studying religion and ethnic relations within
Dara’ang communities of northern Thailand for over 10 years. He is
currently a member of the Sociology Department at Capilano University,
Want to read more?
(PDF File for downloading or reading on line - 10 pages).