Getting next to a statue of the Buddha in Thailand you might be surprised to find, along with the usual offerings of food consisting of bananas, coconuts, and milk, big boxes of Oreo cookies, bottles of water, and other canned drinks or foods. Are they the symptoms of the so–called “westernization” of the East? Or rather, the simulacra of an increasingly growing consumerism? Or perhaps, more simply, new forms of the traditional sacrificial practices? Building on a general overview on the religious act of sacrifice and focusing on that particular practice which is the sacrificial offering of food to the deity, the present article tries to think over — mainly through the tools of the semiotic approach — the contrasts and interferences between tradition and modernity, sacred and profane, and, especially, Cult—intended as a system of religious devotion towards a particular figure — and cult — conceived as a thing that has become popular or fashionable among a particular group of people — in some religious ritual practices, with particular reference to food and the Thai context, chosen as case study because of some interesting examples of hybridization observed on the field.

From Earth to Altar, Through the Supermarket: The Offerings of Food to the Buddha between Thai Tradition and Modernity

STANO, Simona
2012

Abstract

Getting next to a statue of the Buddha in Thailand you might be surprised to find, along with the usual offerings of food consisting of bananas, coconuts, and milk, big boxes of Oreo cookies, bottles of water, and other canned drinks or foods. Are they the symptoms of the so–called “westernization” of the East? Or rather, the simulacra of an increasingly growing consumerism? Or perhaps, more simply, new forms of the traditional sacrificial practices? Building on a general overview on the religious act of sacrifice and focusing on that particular practice which is the sacrificial offering of food to the deity, the present article tries to think over — mainly through the tools of the semiotic approach — the contrasts and interferences between tradition and modernity, sacred and profane, and, especially, Cult—intended as a system of religious devotion towards a particular figure — and cult — conceived as a thing that has become popular or fashionable among a particular group of people — in some religious ritual practices, with particular reference to food and the Thai context, chosen as case study because of some interesting examples of hybridization observed on the field.
11-12
509
526
https://www.academia.edu/2183419/STANO_S._2012_From_Earth_to_Altar_passing_through_the_Supermarket_The_Offerings_of_Food_to_the_Buddha_between_Thai_Tradition_and_Modernity_Lexia_new_series_11-12_Aracne_Turin_pp._509-526
Food, offerings, Buddhism, Thailand, cult
STANO, Simona
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1567152
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