Phantasmagorical Buddhism : Dreams and Imagination in the Creation of Burmese Sacred Space

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number414
Journal / PublicationReligions
Volume9
Issue number12
Online published13 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Link(s)

Abstract

Despite the growing research done on sacred spaces in Buddhist Myanmar, no attention has yet been given to the role dreams play in the selection and development of such spaces. This article will address this lacuna by exploring how dreams are regarded by 20th-21st centuries Buddhists in Myanmar, as evidenced in autobiographies, ethnographic work, and popular literature in relation to the creation and evolution of sacred places. Although there are many kinds of sacred sites in Myanmar, this article will look specifically at Buddhist stupas, commonly referred to in Burmese as, pagoda or zedi. These pagodas, found in nearly every part of Buddhist Myanmar, are also those structures most prevalent in Buddhist dream accounts and often take on phantasmagorical qualities when those same Buddhists attempt to recreate the pagodas of their dreams.

Research Area(s)

  • Buddhism, Burma, Dreams, Material religion, Myanmar, Pagoda, Sacred space, Theravada, Weizzā/weikza, Wizard

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