Edited by Paul Williams, University of Bristol. Patrice Ladwig, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany.
The centrality of death rituals has rarely been documented in anthropologically informed studies of Buddhism. Bringing together a range of perspectives including ethnographic, textual, historical and theoretically informed accounts, this edited volume presents the diversity of the Buddhist funeral cultures of mainland Southeast Asia and China. While the contributions show that the ideas and ritual practices related to death are continuously transformed in local contexts through political and social changes, they also highlight the continuities of funeral cultures. The studies are based on long-term fieldwork and covering material from Theravāda Buddhism in Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and various regions of Chinese Buddhism, both on the mainland and in the Southeast Asian diasporas. Topics such as bad death, the feeding of ghosts, pollution through death, and the ritual regeneration of life show how Buddhist cultures deal with death as a universal phenomenon of human culture.
Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China - Half title page i - ii Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China - Title page iii - iii Copyright iv - iv Contents v - vi Figures vii - vii Tables viii - viii Contributors ix - xii By Vanina Bouté, Frederick Shih - Chung Chen, M. L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati, Erik W. Davis, Alexandra de Mersan, Bernard Formoso, Patrice Ladwig, Rita Langer, Ingmar Heise, François Robinne, Yik Fai Tam, Paul Williams Preface xiii - xiv By Patrice Ladwig, Paul Williams
Chapter 1 - Introduction: 1 - 20 Buddhist funeral cultures Patrice Ladwig, Paul Williams Chapter 2 - Chanting as ‘bricolage technique’: 21 - 58 a comparison of South and Southeast Asian funeral recitation By Rita Langer Chapter 3 - Weaving life out of death: 59 - 78 the craft of the rag robe in Cambodian ritual technology By Erik W. Davis Chapter 4 - Corpses and cloth: 79 - 98 illustrations of the paṃsukūla ceremony in Thai manuscripts By M. L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati Chapter 5 - Good death, bad death and ritual restructurings: 99 - 118 the New Year ceremonies of the Phunoy in northern Laos By Vanina Bouté Chapter 6 - Feeding the dead: 119 - 141 ghosts, materiality and merit in a Lao Buddhist festival for the deceased By Patrice Ladwig Chapter 7 - Funeral rituals, bad death and the protection of social space among the Arakanese (Burma) 142 - 164 By Alexandra de Mersan Chapter 8 - Theatre of death and rebirth: 165 - 191 monks’ funerals in Burma By François Robinne Chapter 9 - From bones to ashes: 192 - 216 the Teochiu management of bad death in China and overseas By Bernard Formoso Chapter 10 - For Buddhas, families and ghosts: 217 - 237 the transformation of the Ghost Festival into a Dharma Assembly in southeast China By Ingmar Heise Chapter 11 - Xianghua foshi 香花佛事 (incense and flower Buddhist rites): a local Buddhist funeral ritual tradition in southeastern China 238 - 260 By Yik Fai Tam Chapter 12 - Buddhist passports to the other world: 261 - 286 a study of modern and early medieval Chinese Buddhist mortuary documents By Frederick Shih - Chung Chen Index 287 - 296