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Building Sacred Modernity: Buddhism, secularism and a geography of religion in southern Sri Lanka

Jazeel, T; (2018) Building Sacred Modernity: Buddhism, secularism and a geography of religion in southern Sri Lanka. In: Bartolini, N and Mackian, S and Pile, S, (eds.) Spaces of Spirituality. (pp. 54-66). Routledge: Abingdon, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Although revisions to the Sri Lankan constitution in 1972 and 1978 respectively were notable for the ways that they, first, accorded Buddhism the foremost place amongst Sri Lanka's other religions. Second, they offered it special protection in the national polity, the country still to this day professes a notional secularism through its commitment to parliamentary democracy and political modernity. A closer look at the parliament building itself, however, reveals more clearly the forms of neither religious, nor entirely secular, sacred modernity that Bawa has built at Kotte. Buddhism then is mobilized not as a 'religion', or religious influence, but instead as an ornamental facet of the broader effort to historiographically realign the nation-state in and with its own native modernity. A rooted Sinhala ethnos intractably linked to a historical narrative of Buddhist practice was part of this anti-colonial modernity. That is part of this space's sacred modernity.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Building Sacred Modernity: Buddhism, secularism and a geography of religion in southern Sri Lanka
ISBN: 1315398400
ISBN-13: 9781315398402
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315398426/...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055801
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