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Next session of the Comparative Anthropology of Buddhism seminar, 12 April 2019

"Collective death management rituals", room 737, 54 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, 9.30am - 12.30pm


in the framework of

Buddhist Ritualities

Organised by B. Brac de la Perrière (CASE-EHESS-CNRS) and N. Sihlé (CNRS-CEH)
with the guest speaker Charlotte Lamotte
(Université de Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès / associate membre of
Centre d’Anthropologie Sociale de Toulouse, specialist of Japan).

The seminar operates on the principle of a monthly session on a Friday each month, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, and will be held at 54 boulevard Raspail, Paris, 6th arrondissement.

This year, the seminar will take up the theme of comparing rituals in Buddhist societies by delving deeper into them based on original or already published ethnographies. The comparison will revolve around two poles, Theravāda Buddhism (especially Burmese) on the one hand, and Mahāyāna Buddhism (especially Tibetan) on the other. From a comparative anthropological perspective, taking an interest in rituals in the Buddhist world raises questions regarding typology, analysis of ritual configurations and of place in a ritual field, or regarding the characteristics (specific to regional / national or more shared traditions) of Buddhist ritualities : principles of effectiveness, forms of socio-religious anchoring, privileged ritual forms, etc. More broadly speaking, it will be a question each time of relaunching existing debates on the theory of ritual. A key dimension of the analysis will be the systematic engagement in a comparative approach : the different sessions, mainly devoted to the study of the major categories of collective Buddhist rituals, will systematically oppose practices, emic and etic categories and interpretations received in the fields of Theravāda and Mahāyāna.
Sessions (avec with room number in brackets) :

5 October (651) : The ritual : anthropological theories, Buddhist and Asian notions of the ritual

23 November (651) : Space and time of the ritual : place of the religious, calendars

7 December (651) : Donation in the collective ritual context

11 January (651) : Rituals of the institution of Buddhist monasticism : entry into the sangha

1 February (551) : Other community rituals : gatherings of practitioners, rituals centred on teachers

15 March (551) : Life-cycle rituals

12 April (737) : Collective death management rituals

10 May (737) : Session for students to present their work

7 June (751) : State rituals / rituals to renew the socio-cosmic order

A choice of reading (some of which is compulsory for students who have enrolled on the course) can be found in the following Dropbox file (subfolder "2018-19_seminaire_Ritualites2") :
As a precautionary measure, please check the room number before each class :

To download 2018-2019 Programme