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Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement: Buddhism and the Cultural Construction of Power (Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series) Paperback – November 15, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0896802551 ISBN-10: 0896802558 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


“Ingrid Jordt presents an insightful account of Burmese Buddhism, lay meditation and the construction of political legitimacy. Her analysis shows the complex ways in which Burmese culture mediates popular beliefs concerning power and millennial expectations. This book will be required reading for students of Buddhism, anthropology, religion, political science, and those with geographic interests in Southeast Asia, and particularly Burma.”
— Juliane Schober, Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University

“A subtle, sympathetic, and astute examination of lay piety in Burma and its political implications. Jordt combines an insider’s comprehension of Buddhist meditation with a capacity to stand back and take a wider view. The result is a book rich in illuminating insights.”
— James Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology at Yale University

“Engaging, well-written and intellectually stimulating.... sheds significant light on the Buddhist background to discontent with the current regime.... The great strength of this book is its central thesis that international criteria for ‘regime performance‘ have little meaning in the Burmese context if the religious sphere is not taken seriously into consideration.”
— Pacific Affairs

“One of the most important things about this book is just how terribly needed it is. There is no other book that takes a cold, hard look at the relation of modernist meditation movements in Burma to the military regime.”
— Current Anthropology

“In almost every respect, Ingrid Jordt’s Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement constitutes an impressive piece of scholarship.... In marrying together an insightful analysis of Burmese social and political conditions with a thoughtful consideration of how traditional Buddhist concepts and practices are coming into play in the contemporary context, Jordt presents a rich and illuminating account of modern Burma that has much to offer the reader.”
— The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology

“(Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement) provides a new opening to the discussion on the socio-political culture and political legitimacy in contemporary Burma . . . will undoubtedly revitalise the debate on various aspects of social and political issues in contemporary Burma.”
— Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

“Jordt has provided the reader with insights into a Burmese theory of power relations which foreign observers rarely take into account.”
— The Irrawaddy

About the Author

Ingrid Jordt is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has conducted research in Burma since 1988.

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