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MEETINGS 2013-2016

407th Meeting : “Thailand’s Magical Stamps and the Mainstreaming of 21st Century Supernaturalism”. 

Tuesday, 30th August 2016.

A talk by Peter Anthony Jackson    

The Talk:

Since the 1980s, many new supernatural movements have become highly visible additions to Thailand’s spiritual landscape and religious marketplaces. Seeking supernatural intervention to achieve success, wealth and prosperity in Thailand’s expanding economy, these movements are often only tangentially related to orthodox Theravada Buddhist teachings and practice. They emerged in the context of Thailand’s economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s, and have continued to grow in popularity through the economic setbacks of the 1997 Asian economic crisis and the political divisions that have beset Thai society over the past decade. In this presentation I consider the further development of highly commodified wealth-oriented forms of supernatural practice in early 21st century Thailand. 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 center of national religious practice. These postage stamp special issues also reflect a major shift in the regime of power over the public imaging of participation in new forms of supernatural ritual. No longer hidden or private, participation in supernatural ritual is becoming an increasingly visible and sociologically significant dimension of religious practice in early 21st century Thailand. 

The Speaker       

Dr. Peter Anthony Jackson is Emeritus Professor at the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra. He has been a pioneer before becoming an expert in the study of homosexuality and queer studies in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Among his main books: Dear Uncle Go: Male homosexuality in Thailand; Genders and sexualities in modern Thailand (with Nerida M. Cook); Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys : Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand (With Gerard Sullivan); Male homosexuality in Thailand; Queer Bangkok (Includes a comprehensive bibliography.

Want to read more? ....click "HERE" (PDF File for downloading or reading on line - 17 pages - includes minutes of the 406th Meeting: Tuesday, 12 July, 2016 “Statue-mania in the North! Sculpting and Casting Historical Memory in Northern Thailand” A Talk by Taylor Easum).


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