Assignment 9

1. Read P/Class/Religion/Suydam, The Experience of Buddhism , pages 20-28, describing the following Theravadin Buddhist rituals and festivals: the Rocket Festival, Pirit Chanting and the Victor's Cage.

2. Analyze the following issues:

a) In what ways are these rituals Buddhist? What strikes you as rather un-Buddhist? In each case, why? How do you have to adjust your concept of "Buddhism" (as you have learned about it so far) to incorporate these rituals?

b) Choose two of the rituals. What theory or combination of theories of ritual we have studied so far seems most helpful in understanding these rituals (symbolic, transformative, mythic enactment, social structure reflection)? Why?

3. Write up the results of your analysis in a 1-2 page paper.