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Prosperity Buddhism in Burma/Myanmar: Capitalism and Protecting Buddhism
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Following the global spread of capitalism in the early 1990s and an increasing impact of globalization, novel kinds of prosperity religions have emerged in Southeast Asia, including Burma/Myanmar. In the latter, it has entailed a gradual transformation of the religious field, with new movements, material infrastructure, rituals and imaginary. After the collapse of the socialist planned economy of General Ne Win’s government, SLORC-SPDC, another military government, seized power in 1988, which implemented modernization programs and a limited market economic system. In interplay with increasing globalization and the gradual development of a capitalist system in the 1990s, a number of “Buddhist” prosperity cults have emerged in Burma/Myanmar and have mushroomed quite recently, especially since 2011, at which time a semi-democratic government replaced the military dictatorship and has implemented a further liberalization of the economy. This paper will demonstrate that a variety of changes in the field of religion in Burma have occurred in interplay with the aforementioned social, economic and political transformations, and will especially focus on a novel kind of possession rituals, in which devotees engage to become successful in business and the like. Moreover, this paper will argue that such phenomena –prosperity religion/Buddhism –can be more conservative than what has otherwise been assumed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
History of Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141812OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141812DiVA: diva2:1089106
Conference
EASR 2016 Conference: Relocating Religion, Helsinki, Finland, june 28 – july 1, 2016
Projects
Vetenskapsrådet, projektnr: 421-2012-1172Akademiforskare, Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-1172The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (KVHAA), Akademiforskare
Available from: 2017-04-18 Created: 2017-04-18 Last updated: 2017-05-31Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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