This superbly edited, theoretically progressive volume, consisting of ten empirically-based and meticulously researched case studies, is focused ostensibly on instances of spirit possession within Burmese, Thai, Khmer and Vietnamese Buddhist religious cultures. Its richly detailed and provocative analyses reflect how modernity, in its dynamic guises of globalizing neoliberal capitalism, increasing urbanization, the proliferation of digital media platforms, and the politics of ethnic and national identities, is producing, through a variegation of ritual articulations, new efflorescent forms of enchantment for vernacular religion concerned primarily with worldly well-being. As such, this sophisticated series of essays, book-ended by a masterful introduction by the editors and an incisive afterward by Eric White, not only upends Weber’s well-worn secularization thesis, but also indexes how the “marginal” and “magical” are becoming increasingly mainstream, and consequently, how non-monastic everyday religious practice in Buddhist cultures is being transformed throughout Southeast Asia. This is clearly a landmark contribution, one that invites the serious attention of scholars in anthropology, the history of religions, and especially Buddhist Studies

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Continue Reading This superbly edited, theoretically progressive volume, consisting of ten empirically-based and meticulously researched case studies, is focused ostensibly on instances of spirit possession within Burmese, Thai, Khmer and Vietnamese Buddhist religious cultures. Its richly detailed and provocative analyses reflect how modernity, in its dynamic guises of globalizing neoliberal capitalism, increasing urbanization, the proliferation of digital media platforms, and the politics of ethnic and national identities, is producing, through a variegation of ritual articulations, new efflorescent forms of enchantment for vernacular religion concerned primarily with worldly well-being. As such, this sophisticated series of essays, book-ended by a masterful introduction by the editors and an incisive afterward by Eric White, not only upends Weber’s well-worn secularization thesis, but also indexes how the “marginal” and “magical” are becoming increasingly mainstream, and consequently, how non-monastic everyday religious practice in Buddhist cultures is being transformed throughout Southeast Asia. This is clearly a landmark contribution, one that invites the serious attention of scholars in anthropology, the history of religions, and especially Buddhist Studies

Spirit possession is flourishing in mainland Southeast Asia and anthropologists are keeping pace. Anyone interested in questions of enchantment and modernity, ontological pluralism, or the boundaries of Buddhism in practice will find much of benefit in these substantive, engaging essays offered by a truly global array of scholars.

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Continue Reading Spirit possession is flourishing in mainland Southeast Asia and anthropologists are keeping pace. Anyone interested in questions of enchantment and modernity, ontological pluralism, or the boundaries of Buddhism in practice will find much of benefit in these substantive, engaging essays offered by a truly global array of scholars.

Although Lintner covers Wa history in fascinating, well-informed detail, his book is also so much more. He analyzes the role of the Wa in China-Myanmar relations and in China’s quest for regional and global dominance. Indeed, he uses the Wa as a prism for throwing light at global trends. His book includes perceptive analyses of topics such as the shift in the global drugs trade from opium/heroin to industrially produced methamphetamines and the rise of Xi Jinping’s new Zhongguo nationalism, which much reduces the scope for cultural diversity along China’s ethnic periphery. This book should be read by all students of China, Myanmar, communism, ethno-nationalism, and the global drugs trade.

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Continue Reading Although Lintner covers Wa history in fascinating, well-informed detail, his book is also so much more. He analyzes the role of the Wa in China-Myanmar relations and in China’s quest for regional and global dominance. Indeed, he uses the Wa as a prism for throwing light at global trends. His book includes perceptive analyses of topics such as the shift in the global drugs trade from opium/heroin to industrially produced methamphetamines and the rise of Xi Jinping’s new Zhongguo nationalism, which much reduces the scope for cultural diversity along China’s ethnic periphery. This book should be read by all students of China, Myanmar, communism, ethno-nationalism, and the global drugs trade.

This book presents some very needed and fascinating research including fieldwork over a span of 10 years by Professor Bolotta.[…] As the title suggests, his focus was on the children in the slums to better understand how they cope and how they view themselves as one of the lowest ranking humans in this tough situation in Bangkok. This focus on the poorest children, to my knowledge, has not been done in the way he has done so. […] I highly recommend this book to all who want an accurate understanding of Thailand today. There are few books about Thailand which give such a rather complete presentation of children in the Thai society throughout history and conditions today.

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Continue Reading This book presents some very needed and fascinating research including fieldwork over a span of 10 years by Professor Bolotta.[…] As the title suggests, his focus was on the children in the slums to better understand how they cope and how they view themselves as one of the lowest ranking humans in this tough situation in Bangkok. This focus on the poorest children, to my knowledge, has not been done in the way he has done so. […] I highly recommend this book to all who want an accurate understanding of Thailand today. There are few books about Thailand which give such a rather complete presentation of children in the Thai society throughout history and conditions today.

Traditional spiritual practices such as cross-gender spirit-possession are resurgent throughout Southeast Asia, in a historical moment when the epistemic hegemony of the Eurocentric world-system is cracking open. This important collection of essays brings that phenomenon into dialog with Western queer and trans studies, and builds a bridge to the future.

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Continue Reading Traditional spiritual practices such as cross-gender spirit-possession are resurgent throughout Southeast Asia, in a historical moment when the epistemic hegemony of the Eurocentric world-system is cracking open. This important collection of essays brings that phenomenon into dialog with Western queer and trans studies, and builds a bridge to the future.

Deities and Divas is a remarkable achievement. By linking queer studies and religious studies, this volume’s contributors bring new insights to the study of Mainland Southeast Asia, transgenderism, and faith. Bringing together a range of disciplines and both historical and contemporary data from Myanmar and Thailand, this book will prove invaluable to all those interested in how ritual and queer experience intersect in the modern world.

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Continue Reading Deities and Divas is a remarkable achievement. By linking queer studies and religious studies, this volume’s contributors bring new insights to the study of Mainland Southeast Asia, transgenderism, and faith. Bringing together a range of disciplines and both historical and contemporary data from Myanmar and Thailand, this book will prove invaluable to all those interested in how ritual and queer experience intersect in the modern world.

Rosalie Stolz’s book is a beautifully detailed exploration of kinship among the Khmu, with many vignettes of the everyday. I particularly like her focus on understanding kinship as a process and kin ties as needing to be ‘worked’ at; and her focus on the centrality of food – and alcoholic drink! – in bringing kinship into being.

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Continue Reading Rosalie Stolz’s book is a beautifully detailed exploration of kinship among the Khmu, with many vignettes of the everyday. I particularly like her focus on understanding kinship as a process and kin ties as needing to be ‘worked’ at; and her focus on the centrality of food – and alcoholic drink! – in bringing kinship into being.

One year of intensive field research and immersion into the social intricacies of a Khmu village in upland Laos, transformed into a masterful monograph. Rosalie Stolz explores new exciting methodological and epistemological pathways to kinship anthropology and offers a multi-faceted contribution to the field.

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Continue Reading One year of intensive field research and immersion into the social intricacies of a Khmu village in upland Laos, transformed into a masterful monograph. Rosalie Stolz explores new exciting methodological and epistemological pathways to kinship anthropology and offers a multi-faceted contribution to the field.

This collaborative collection […] makes an important and timely contribution to discussions about Myanmar’s changing legal and political landscape. Everyday Justice in Myanmar foregrounds the perspectives and experiences of local communities in accessing and practicing justice, effectively highlighting the diversity of politico-legal orders in Myanmar […]

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Continue Reading This collaborative collection […] makes an important and timely contribution to discussions about Myanmar’s changing legal and political landscape. Everyday Justice in Myanmar foregrounds the perspectives and experiences of local communities in accessing and practicing justice, effectively highlighting the diversity of politico-legal orders in Myanmar […]

The book deftly presents its findings with humility about what has evaded understanding. It situates legal consciousness in Myanmar in all its complexities, continuities and polarities, as poised between acknowledgement, avoidance and abandonment. It will without question become a reference point on understanding legal pluralism in Myanmar and possibly beyond.

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Continue Reading The book deftly presents its findings with humility about what has evaded understanding. It situates legal consciousness in Myanmar in all its complexities, continuities and polarities, as poised between acknowledgement, avoidance and abandonment. It will without question become a reference point on understanding legal pluralism in Myanmar and possibly beyond.