A major revision of a classic work on Thai Buddhism
First published in 1975, B.J. Terwiel’s Monks and Magic remains a widely cited
text. This is an absorbing study of Buddhism as practiced at that time in a
community in rural Central Thailand. It describes how esoteric spells and
magical diagrams were the main interest of children and adolescents but full
ritual knowledge was obtained in adulthood and tempered by life experiences. As
death approaches, the Buddhist world-view stimulates merit-making.
This fourth edition of the work is a major revision
that updates the original text, adds new material and offers a contemporary
perspective on the original study.
“This book deserves a welcome from both sides of
academic life, teaching and research. Teachers of subjects dealing with Thai
language and culture will welcome a clear account of the religious
preoccupations … of country people in the central region. The author has come
to treat what is normal and respectable there …
The hope is thereby to emphasize the main thesis,
viz. that there is such a a thing as ‘animistic Buddhism’ and that it is common
in rural areas.’
– P.J. Bee, Bulletin
of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Jan (Baas) Terwiel is a renowned specialist in the social and cultural history
of Thailand. During his academic career, he taught in Canberra, Munich Leiden
and Hamburg. His Final appointment was as Professor of Thai and Lao Languages
and Literatures in Hamburg. Professor Terwiel retired in 2006 but still writes
extensively on Thailand.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 15 August, 2012.