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The temples of the interface: A study of the relation between Buddhism and Hinduism at the Munnesvaram Temples, Sri Lanka

Bastin, Rohan Neil; (1992) The temples of the interface: A study of the relation between Buddhism and Hinduism at the Munnesvaram Temples, Sri Lanka. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The two important temples at Munnesvaram, on the west coast of Sri Lanka, are Hindu and are run by Tamil priests. Their patronage is largely Sinhalese Buddhist. They are the context for an examination of the relations between Hinduism and Buddhism in modern Sri Lanka in a period of violent ethnic tension between Tamils and Sinhalese. The thesis falls in two parts. The first deals with the history of the temples in the colonial and post-colonial eras, the history of religious difference, and with a social analysis of the two groups of priests and of the worshippers. This establishes grounds for a consideration of current anthropological debates on hierarchy and on historicity. The second extends the consideration through a detailed analysis of temple design, ritual and worship. The growing popularity of Munnesvaram as a centre for sorcery, where female Hindu deities predominate, is analysed in the context of ethnic hostility, in order to interpret the changing nature of Munnesvaram's religious significance in a labile social environment.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The temples of the interface: A study of the relation between Buddhism and Hinduism at the Munnesvaram Temples, Sri Lanka
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Buddhist temples; Hinduism; Sri Lanka
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107550
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