Champions of Buddhism: Weikza Cults in Contemporary Burma

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Edited by Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière, Guillaume Rozenberg and Alicia Turner
Contributions by Kate Crosby, Patrick Pranke, Juliane Schober, Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière, Niklas Foxeus, Keiko Tosa, Thomas Patton, Céline Coderey, Guillaume Rozenberg and Steven Collins

Hidden at the margins of Burmese Buddhism and culture, the cults of the weikza shape Burmese culture by bringing together practices of supernatural power and a mission to protect Buddhism. This exciting new research on an often hidden aspect of Burmese religion places weikza in relation to the Vipassana insight meditation movement and conventional Buddhist practices, as well as the contemporary rise of Buddhist fundamentalism. Featuring research based on fieldwork only possible in recent years, paired with reflective essays by senior Buddhist studies scholars, this book situates the weikza cult in relation to broader Buddhist and Southeast Asian contexts, offering interpretations and investigations as rich and diverse as the Burmese expressions of the weikza cults themselves. Champions of Buddhism opens the field to new questions, new problems, and new connections with the study of religion and Southeast Asia in general. 

"In exploring a phenomenon about which we know comparatively little, Champions of Buddhism does a superb job. The volume is very well organized, beautifully illustrated, and the contributions are consistently of high quality." - Ben Van Overmeire

Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière is a researcher with the National Center of Scientific Research and is the current Director of the Center of Southeast Asia Studies in Paris.

Guillaume Rozenberg is a researcher with the National Center of Scientific Research and is a member of the LISST Center for Social Anthropology in Toulouse. France.

Alicia Turner is assistant professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at York University in Toronto and the Editor of The Journal of Burma Studies.


Publication Year: 2014
292 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-780-8

NUS Press