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Religions 2018, 9(12), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120414

Phantasmagorical Buddhism: Dreams and Imagination in the Creation of Burmese Sacred Space

Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Space and Place)
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Abstract

Despite the growing research done on sacred spaces in Buddhist Myanmar, no attention has yet been given to the role dreams play in the selection and development of such spaces. This article will address this lacuna by exploring how dreams are regarded by 20th–21st centuries Buddhists in Myanmar, as evidenced in autobiographies, ethnographic work, and popular literature in relation to the creation and evolution of sacred places. Although there are many kinds of sacred sites in Myanmar, this article will look specifically at Buddhist stupas, commonly referred to in Burmese as, pagoda or zedi. These pagodas, found in nearly every part of Buddhist Myanmar, are also those structures most prevalent in Buddhist dream accounts and often take on phantasmagorical qualities when those same Buddhists attempt to recreate the pagodas of their dreams. View Full-Text
Keywords: Theravada; Buddhism; sacred space; dreams; material religion; Myanmar; Burma; pagoda; wizard; weizzā/weikza Theravada; Buddhism; sacred space; dreams; material religion; Myanmar; Burma; pagoda; wizard; weizzā/weikza
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Patton, T.N. Phantasmagorical Buddhism: Dreams and Imagination in the Creation of Burmese Sacred Space. Religions 2018, 9, 414.

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