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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Talk: THE BUDDHIST SAINT, THE BORDER, AND BEYOND: LUANG PHO THUAT AND THE TWO BODIES OF THE THAI NATION

Wann 23.10.2013 von 17:00 bis 19:00 (Europe/Vienna / UTC200) iCal
Wo IAAW – Invalidenstr. 118 – room 315 (3rd floor)

JOVAN MAUD
(GEORG-AUGUST-UNIVERSITÄT, GÖTTINGEN)

 

Talk:

THE BUDDHIST SAINT, THE BORDER, AND BEYOND: LUANG PHO THUAT AND THE TWO BODIES OF THE THAI NATION


In Thailand, Buddhism has been an important element in attempts to define not only the nation's cultural essence but also its spatial dimensions. Buddhist structures and symbols in the landscape serve as powerful markers of the Thai nation state and help to define the extent of national space. This relationship between Buddhism and Thailand's national boundaries is nowhere more pronounced than its southern borderland, parts of which have long been the site of conflict between the Thai state and a majority Malay Muslim population. Along the border, temples, Buddha imag-es and other constructions mark the landscape and claim it as Thai. Furthermore, the pathways followed by legendary monks during their wander-ings also inscribe the borderland with sacred power and a sense of historical depth.
This paper focuses on one such legendary monk, Luang Pho Thuat, and his connections to the southern Thai borderland. Said to have lived and wandered in the region several centuries ago he is widely considered to be a patron saint of the South. Conceived of as a protective spirit par excel-lence, his amulets are worn to shore up both the boundaries of individual bodies as well as those of the nation.
But Luang Pho Thuat is also said to have wandered beyond the nation, in what is now northern Malaysia. In recent years this has formed the basis for the development of a cross-border pilgrimage route. The emergence of this "new" sacred geography reflects the changing character of the bor-der, where a transnational economic and cultural logic is on the rise. However, rather than simply undermining the border's role as a cultural con-tainer, I argue that current developments hark back to the national imagination of former territories "lost". As such, Luang Pho Thuat mediates two national bodies: the contemporary geo-body as well its "phantom limbs", which still tingle in the national imaginary.

 

 

WEDNESDAY 23/10/2013, 5-7 PM
INSTITUTE FOR ASIAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES, INVALIDENSTR. 118, ROOM 315


www.dorisea.de/de/node/1421

https://iaaw.hu-berlin.de/southeastasia/history/courses/dynamics-of-religion-in-southeast-asia