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The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk
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The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand

Justin McDaniel

Abstract

Stories centering on the lovelorn ghost (Mae Nak) and the magical monk (Somdet To) are central to Thai Buddhism. Historically important and emotionally resonant, these characters appeal to every class of follower. Metaphorically and rhetorically powerful, they invite constant reimagining across time. Focusing on representations of the ghost and monk from the late eighteenth century to the present, the book builds a case for interpreting modern Thai Buddhist practice through the movements of these transformative figures. It follows embodiments of the ghost and monk in a variety of genres and me ... More

Keywords: lovelorn ghost, magical monk, Thai Buddhism, Thai Buddhist practice, magic, prognostication, deity worship, ghost worship

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780231153775
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231153775.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Justin McDaniel, author
University of Pennsylvania

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