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The Shwegyin Religious World: Continuity, Rupture, and Political Change in Myanmar

Jason Carbine, Whittier College

Friday, February 08, 2008
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
243 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

The recent political turmoil in Myanmar suggests an urgent need to understand the religious worlds that have been and are transmitted within various Buddhist monastic traditions in that country. Attention needs to be given to those traditions, their histories and development, and their explicit and implicit roles in the crisis of power that grips Myanmar.  This talk will take up this task in light of one of the most important Burmese monastic traditions, the Shwegyin. Discussing Shwegyin conceptions of socio-religious continuity and rupture, it will argue that the Shwegyin tradition helps promote a sophisticated religious world that simultaneously inhibits and promotes political change.

Jason Carbine is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Whittier College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2004, with a dissertation titled, "An Ethic of Continuity: Shwegyin Monks and the Sasana in Contemporary Burma/Myanmar." He is currently working on a book manuscript, Negotiating Continuity and Rupture: Buddhist Thought and Practice in a Burmese Monastic Tradition.


Sponsor(s): Center for Buddhist Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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