By Bruce Kapferer
The Sinhalese exorcism rituals are possibly the main advanced and the main very good in functionality nonetheless extant. For this moment variation, the writer has written a brand new preface and creation within which he argues that the suggestions of therapeutic in Sri Lanka and the aesthetics of this therapeutic can't be diminished to Western psychoanalytic or psychotherapeutic phrases, and develops new and unique ways to ritual and the cultured regularly.
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Extra info for A celebration of demons: Exorcism and the aesthetics of healing in Sri Lanka
The Sinhalese category of house ghosts (gevala preta), in the urban milieu in which 1 worked, were sometimes considered to be the spirits of the landlord's dead kin. Ghosts of whatever type can cause all kinds of misfortune, disease, and sickness for t h e living. Through ghosts, therefore, living kin or house residents can be afflicted by the results of actions, of karma in effect, t h a t accrued to another in his or her life. Many other concepts relating to karma doctrine are important to everyday Sinhalese life.
Offerings given to the Buddha are white or yellow flowers, rice, and sometimes fruit juices; the deities receive flowers of vivid hues and whole fruit; while demons receive torn flowers and a variety of impure cooked vegetables and meats. The disagreement between Ames and Obeyesekere extends to the direction of religious change in Sri Lanka. Ames suggests that the ideas and Religion, Class, and Change 31 practices of "magical-animism," those centering on the doiliou und demons, will be displaced, particularly in the industrializing and urbanizing areas of Sri Lanka, by a new "enthusiastic pietism and ethical asceticism" (1963:53).
Buddhist reformist orthodoxy derives from its role in the formation of the Sri Lankan s t a t e , the apparatuses of which are controlled by a Sinhalese middle class and its dominant fractions. ) This middle class produced the interpretations and practices which simultaneously form Buddhist orthodoxy and c r e a t e it as legitimating of the hierarchy of modern Sri Lanka's social and political order based on the relations of class. Class, Community, and the Control of the Temples The general processes underlying the Buddhist revitalization as an ideology of class are well-evidenced at the level of local urban communities where it is the middle class who have gained control over the central institutions of Buddhist practice and ideological production: the Buddhist temples.
A celebration of demons: Exorcism and the aesthetics of healing in Sri Lanka by Bruce Kapferer