Publisher description for Relics, ritual, and representation in Buddhism : rematerializing the Sri Lankan Theravada tradition / Kevin Trainor.


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Counter This book is the first serious study of relic veneration among South Asian Buddhists. Drawing on textual sources and archaeological evidence from India and Sri Lanka, including material not previously examined in the West, it looks specifically at the practice of relic veneration in the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist tradition. The author portrays relic veneration as a technology of remembrance and representation which makes present the Buddha of the past for living Buddhists. By analysing the abstract ideas, emotional orientation, and ritual behaviour centred on the Buddha's material remains, he contributes to the 'rematerialising' of Buddhism which is currently under way among Western scholars. This book is the best introduction to Buddhist relics currently available. It is well written and accessible and will be read by scholars and serious students of Buddhism and religious studies for years to come.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Gautama Buddha Relics, Gautama Buddha Cult Sri Lanka