Burmese Supernaturalism

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1996 - Social Science - 300 pages
0 Reviews

Though the people of Burma, now called Myanmar, are formally Buddhist, their folk religion a type of animism or supernaturalism is so unlike classical Buddhism that it seems contradictory. For years scholars of religion and anthropology have debated the questions: Do these folk beliefs make up a separate religious system? Or is there a subtle merging of supernaturalism and Buddhism, a kind of syncretism? In either case, how exactly does folk religion fit into the overall religious pattern? Melford Spiro's Burmese Supernaturalism has been one of the major works in this debate, both for its position on the "two religions" question and for its arguments concerning the psychological basis of religion.

The book begins with an introduction to the study of supernaturalism. The next section of the work covers various types of supernaturalism, including witches, ghost, and demons. Other areas of discussion include supernaturally caused illness and its treatment, the shaman, the exorcist, and the relationship between supernaturalism and Buddhism.

In the introduction to this expanded edition Spiro further develops the underlying logic of his argument and evaluates the most recent contributions to the field of the anthropology of religion. Burmese Supernaturalism is an intriguing study and will provide insightful reading for anthropologists, sociologists, theologians, as well as those interested in supernaturalism in Burma (Myanmar) and other cultures.

Melford E. Spiro is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, where he founded the Anthropology Department in 1968. His other works include Gender and Culture, Oedipus in the Trobriands, and Culture and Human Nature.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

IV
2
V
8
VI
12
VII
20
VIII
21
IX
28
X
30
XI
33
XXIX
126
XXX
131
XXXI
139
XXXII
149
XXXIII
157
XXXIV
163
XXXV
167
XXXVI
174

XII
35
XIII
38
XIV
40
XV
55
XVI
64
XVII
67
XVIII
71
XIX
76
XX
80
XXI
91
XXII
92
XXIII
95
XXIV
97
XXV
104
XXVI
108
XXVII
109
XXVIII
113
XXXVII
194
XXXVIII
205
XXXIX
208
XL
217
XLI
230
XLII
234
XLIII
236
XLIV
238
XLV
247
XLVI
253
XLVII
257
XLVIII
264
XLIX
271
L
281
LI
291
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

Melford E. Spiro is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, where he founded the Anthropology Department in 1968.

Bibliographic information