Taming the 'wild' spirits in Thailand: Nature, consumerism, and alterations at an ecotone

Pearce, Michael (2010). Taming the 'wild' spirits in Thailand: Nature, consumerism, and alterations at an ecotone. In: 4th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC 2010), Perth, Australia, (36-37). 16 - 19 December 2010.

Author Pearce, Michael
Title of paper Taming the 'wild' spirits in Thailand: Nature, consumerism, and alterations at an ecotone
Conference name 4th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC 2010)
Conference location Perth, Australia
Conference dates 16 - 19 December 2010
Place of Publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher La Trobe University
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Published abstract
Start page 36
End page 37
Total pages 2
Language eng
Abstract/Summary This paper identifies some of the religious dimensions of human interactions with the natural environment in Thailand and addresses some the cultural ways in which such interactions have been conceptualized and managed. Through a discussion of small shrines known as ‗spirit houses‘ the essay explores the role of these shrines as mediators of relationships that are established between humans and the places they inhabit. Local interpretations of these small but ubiquitous shrines in contemporary urban Thailand suggest how edge-spaces, or the ecotones where human development and urbanization meet undeveloped and ‗wild‘ nature, can be defined and negotiated in the local cultural context through animist or relational principles. It will be argued that rapid development of the Thai nation-state has contributed to re-interpretations of the shrines from their previously relational orientation, and this trend is particularly observable in urban areas. Although nature and culture have been defined in various ways within the Thai context and the shrines discussed in this paper have been considered as representations of ‗civilized‘ and ‗ordered‘ culture dominating ‗wild‘ and ‗untamed‘ nature, the focus here is placed upon Thai attitudes towards the continuance of enshrining spirits as one method by which humans enter into appropriate relationships with the places they inhabit.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Conference theme: "Living on the Edge"

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 16 Mar 2011, 10:07:19 EST by Mrs Gaylene Wagner on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry