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The supernaturalization of Thai political culture: Thailand's magical stamps of approval at the nexus of media, market and state

Jackson, Peter A

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Since the 1980s, new supernatural movements have become highly visible additions to Thailand’s spiritual landscapes and religious marketplaces. Focused on supernatural intervention to bring success, wealth and prosperity in Thailand’s expanding economy, these movements are often only tangentially related to orthodox Theravada Buddhist teachings and practice. These highly commodified wealthoriented movements emerged in the context of Thailand’s economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s, and...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorJackson, Peter A
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-20T00:20:05Z
dc.identifier.issn0217-9520
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/113410
dc.description.abstractSince the 1980s, new supernatural movements have become highly visible additions to Thailand’s spiritual landscapes and religious marketplaces. Focused on supernatural intervention to bring success, wealth and prosperity in Thailand’s expanding economy, these movements are often only tangentially related to orthodox Theravada Buddhist teachings and practice. These highly commodified wealthoriented movements emerged in the context of Thailand’s economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s, and have continued to grow in popularity and develop further through the 1997 Asian economic crisis and the political conflicts that have destabilized Thai society over the past decade. The large number of colourful special issues of Thai postage stamps devoted to supernatural cults of prosperity released since 2004 reflects the relocation of these movements from the margins to the centre of national religious practice. These stamp special issues also reflect a major shift in the regime of power over public imaging that depicts the participation of Thailand’s economic, political and royal elites in new forms of supernatural ritual. This ritual has now been incorporated into state projects under the aegis of officially sponsored Theravada Buddhism. No longer kept hidden or private, elite participation in supernatural ritual is becoming an increasingly visible and politically significant dimension of the symbolism and exercise of power in early twenty-first-century Thailand.
dc.format55 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies Mita
dc.rights© 2016 ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. The Supernaturalization of Thai Political Culture: Thailand's Magical Stamps of Approval at the Nexus of Media, Market and State by Peter A Jackson first appeared in SOJOURN: journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 31/1, November 2016. This work is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher, ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg Publisher permission email as of 24/4/2017.
dc.sourceSOJOURN: Journal of social issues in Southeast Asia
dc.subjectThailand
dc.subjectprosperity religion
dc.subjectresurgent supernaturalism
dc.subjectpostage stamps
dc.subjectmedia
dc.subjectcommodification
dc.subjectstate power
dc.subjectpolitical culture
dc.subjectBuddhism
dc.titleThe supernaturalization of Thai political culture: Thailand's magical stamps of approval at the nexus of media, market and state
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume31
dc.date.issued2016-11
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.iseas.edu.sg/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationJackson, Peter A., CHL General, CAP School of Culture, History and Language, The Australian National University
local.bibliographicCitation.issue3
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage826
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage879
local.identifier.doi10.1355/sj31-3d
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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