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Alexander Horstmann

Abstract

In this article, I consider the changing forms of a traditional art genre and ritual cycle, Manooraa Rongkruu, in which it is possible for the living to communicate with the dead. I did fieldwork on the dynamics of Theravada Buddhism, Islam and indigenous religion and multi-religious rituals in Southern Thailand from 2004–2007. Religious forms in Southern Thailand have been hybridised, fragmented, post-modernised and revitalised. The performance and art genre of the Manooraa enjoy high popularity in certain parts of Southern Thailand and is used to heal a number of modern ailments. The public performances in Takae, Patthalung and Ta Kura, Songkhla, attract hundreds of thousands of worshippers. I show that the revitalised and reflexive religious practices of people in Southern Thailand to engage and worship the great ancestor spirits represent a multi-vocal arena, in which social transformations and discursive shifts are negotiated. Illustrations of the new performances of the Manooraa Rongkruu are provided to illustrate a ritual in movement that negotiates traditional obligations and postmodern requirements.

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Edited by Thomas Reuter and Alexander Horstmann

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Edited by Thomas Reuter and Alexander Horstmann

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Thomas Reuter and Alexander Horstmann

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Faith in the Future

Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia

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Edited by Thomas Reuter and Alexander Horstmann

Revitalization of religious and cultural traditions is taking place in nearly all contemporary Asian societies, as is shown in Faith in the Future: Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia. Revitalization is not unique to Asia, it is one of the most significant new global trends in religion and society. While they are a response to globalization and rapid change, revitalization movements are not backward looking but represent a struggle by local people for their right to determine their own future in a changing world, while also reflecting their desire to find an appropriate place and status for themselves within a global context which they take for granted. The volume provides a comparative analysis of the key features and aspirations of revitalization movements and assesses their scope for shaping the future trajectories of societies in all parts of the world.
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Thomas Reuter and Alexander Horstmann