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Spirits, Mortal Dread, and Ontological Security: Prosperity and Saving Buddhism in Burma/Myanmar
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
2018 (English)In: Journal of the American Academy of Religion, ISSN 0002-7189, E-ISSN 1477-4585, p. 1-41Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Following the global spread of capitalism and increasing impact of cultural globalization since the 1990s, prosperity religion, nationalist movements, and religious fundamentalism have emerged throughout the world. This article argues that such global tendencies intersect in certain forms of “prosperity Buddhism” that have emerged in recent years in Burma/Myanmar. As this article demonstrates, a novel Buddhist imaginary linked to prosperity Buddhism has evolved that represents a transformation of previous notions. The article argues that it can serve as a resource mainly for women to get success in business and can provide them with a way to negotiate Buddhist identity and acquire a sense of ontological security in rapidly changing urban areas. It can also serve as a means for social control and maintaining hegemonic power relations. For ritual specialists, these novel cults serve as the recurrent strategy of saving the Buddha’s dispensation in the face of rapid change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 1-41
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
History of Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157371DOI: 10.1093/jaarel/lfy020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157371DiVA, id: diva2:1219476
Projects
Akademiforskare vid Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-1172Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-06-18

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