Colors of the Robe: Religion, Identity, and Difference (Studies in Comparative Religion) (Paperback)

Colors of the Robe: Religion, Identity, and Difference (Studies in Comparative Religion) By Ananda Abeysekara Cover Image
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A compelling case study of Buddhism in contemporary Sri Lanka

Colors of the Robe probes the Sri Lankan world of Buddhism and politics and suggests innovative directions for the global study of religion, culture, and violence. In a volume that surpasses other studies in locating Sri Lankan Buddhism in its sectarian, ethnic, cultural, social, and political constructions, Ananda Abeysekara illuminates the shifting configurations that animate the relations connected with postcolonial religious identity and culture.

Drawing on extensive field research in Sri Lanka, Abeysekara illustrates how differing discourses about Buddhism come into central view and then fade. He develops the concept of "minute conjunctures of contingency" and places it in modest opposition to the Foucauldian (and postcolonial) conceptions of history and identity. Abeysekara suggests that the conjunctures of contingency help realize that Buddhism, identity, and difference do not remain simply available for disciplinary apprehension. This way of thinking about the unavailability of Buddhism, he contends, has profound political implications for how we might more generally think about and begin to disrupt entrenched presumptions of postcolonial cultural difference.

About the Author

Ananda Abeysekara is an associate professor of religious studies at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is the author of The Politics of Postsecular Religion: Mourning Secular Futures.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781570037870
ISBN-10: 1570037876
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication Date: September 4th, 2008
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: Studies in Comparative Religion