Theravada Studies Group Newsletter Issue 3, Spring 2015Return to Announcements

By Lora Kile on March 17th, 2015

Theravada Studies Group Newsletter                        Issue 3, Spring 2015

Dear Members of Theravada Studies Group,The Theravada Studies Group (TGS) will hold its annual meeting at the AAS in Chicago on Saturday, March 28, 1-2:30 pm in room Michigan B. Please be sure to plan to attend and extend an invitation to your colleagues interested in this field.

Below is the meeting’s agenda.

  1. Keynote Lecture:     Privileges, Rights and Responsibilities:  Reflections on Citizenship and Thai Monks

Thomas Borchert
Associate Professor of Religion
University of Vermont
followed by a general discussion

  1. Business Meeting:
  • Panel suggestions for AAS 2015 on comparative Theravada Studies
  • Wanted: Contributions, blogs, discussions and editors for website,
  • Election of organizing committee
  • Suggestions for the TGS meeting agenda 2016 and plans for a one-day conference in conjunction with the AAS in 2017

Most importantly, we invite your contributions to our website. We want to hear about what you are doing!  As part of our efforts to support a network on scholarship about Theravada traditions and practices, we want to feature TGS members and their projects on our website. Please send us information about your new publications (books, essays and articles) as well as brief statements (100-150 words) about research projects, publications or current projects you are working on related to the study of Theravada Buddhism. Please log onto your account and update your profile if you have not already done so. On your profile page, you can list your research interests and publications and add a photo.

As a member of the Theravada Studies Group, you have access to the Theravada Civilizations website. Please visit our updated website at It features interactive venues like discussion forums and ways to upload your papers on emerging research topics. The site also provides resources, a search function, a growing bibliography and information about new opportunities, including conferences, workshops or fellowships. The TSG now has nearly 200 members!


The Southeast Asia Art and ArchaeologySOAS CFP Academic Programme at SOAS

The Emergence of Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia:  Southeast Asian Perspectives

Symposium to be held on July 3, 2015
DEADLINE: 15 March 2015

Mainland Southeast Asia underwent major civilizational transitions when the Hindu-Mahayana Buddhist Angkorian Empire met its end over the 13th-15th centuries and Theravada Buddhism emerged in its wake. While Angkor remained a reference for the new states that developed across the mainland, Theravada Buddhism structured the cultural, social and political forms which continue to define the region. Given the importance of these changes, astonishingly little is understood about how it actually happened, notably in the Angkorian heartland itself. By supporting interdisciplinary exchange on the Theravadin material heritage across the Southeast Asian region (including Sri Lanka) during this transitional period this symposium aims to begin to redress this gap in our regional understandings.

Knowledge on the emergence of Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia is partially due to the nature of the transformation itself: marking an abrupt halt in the prolific stone temple construction, statuary production and epigraphic composition which had characterized the Angkorian Kingdom for more than four centuries, the early Cambodian Theravadin complex left relatively little easily accessible material evidence for its future study. This relative lack has been compounded by scholarly privileging of the spectacular accomplishments of Angkor since the beginning of modern scholarship in the colonial period. Times did change however, and it is time that the body of research on the early post-Angkorian period in the post-colonial era be collectively evaluated and pursued. Temples and stupas were built and rebuilt, statues were sculpted and retouched, texts were composed and recomposed, practices evolved and legends were born. Out of this work, the Cambodian state was given new life in and beyond Angkor and, in such, confirmed the hold Theravada had across the region. The dominant structuring of modern scholarship on the basis of national borders has further limited our understandings of the phenomenon at hand. Certain Theravadin forms and practices came to Cambodia from somewhere else at this time. From where? Why? And how? What can be discerned about and from the specificities of the Cambodian complex in relation to its Theravadin relatives? By bringing together scholars from across the region, and across disciplines, we aim to break new ground on early Cambodian Theravada and, in turn, shed light on mainland developments as a whole.

Abstracts of 150-200 words, as well as questions and expressions of interest, should be sent to:  [email protected] and [email protected]

Bursaries are available for selected applicants for travel and accommodations in London.



Theravāda Civilizations Conference
December 19, 2014
131 Charoen Prathet Road
Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand

8:45 – 9:00        Welcome
Louis Gabaude (Emeritus, EFEO), Chairperson

9:00 – 10:00      The Question of Violence in Thai Buddhism
Suwanna Satha-Anand, Chulalongkorn University

10:00 – 10:30    Coffee, tea

10:30 – 11:30    Buddha Tamnan: Buddhist imaginaire and geo-body of the Lanna Kingdom
François Lagirarde, EFEO

11:30 – 12:30    Religiosity as Mediated Space: Mass Meditation in Contemporary Thailand
Apinya Fuengfusakal, University of Chiang Mai

12:30 – 2:30      Lunch at EFEO

2:30 – 3:30        On the Pāli Literature of Lanna and its Transmission in Southeast Asia: the case of the Maṅgalatthadīpanī of Sirimaṅgala
Gregory Kourilsky, Bristol

3:30 – 4:00        Coffee, tea

4:00 – 5:00        Translating the Meditation Retreat: Pedagogical Techniques of  Thailand’s International Meditation Center Teachers
Brooke Schedneck, University of Chiang Mai

5:00 – 6:00        Between British Big Ideas and Buddhism: Situating the Writing of Mon HistoryPhoto courtesy of Louis Gabaude. Dr. Louis Gabaude introducing Dr. Brooke Schedneck at the Theravada Civilizations Conference, December 19, 2014
Patrick McCormick, EFEO

6:00 – 6:30        Concluding Discussion
6:30 – 7:30        Reception at EFEO

Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago.
Juliane Schober
Director, Center for Asian Research
Arizona State University