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Practical Buddhism Among the Thai-Lao
by Yukio Hayashi
Based on long-term fieldwork, Hayashi presents the local history of Thai-Lao religion and society, including its present dynamics. The volume clarifies the position of the Lao people as well as the social composition and changes in Lao village society. Working from the analytical premise that concepts such as Buddhism and magic are intrinsic to the multi-faceted statements of the people who live in the particular locality, Hayashi describes the diachronic process and the dynamics of indigenous religious ‘knowledge’ in this regional context. The study reveals how religious practices, and associated knowledge of the dynamic local world, take diverse forms across generations.

Issues in the study of Theravada Buddhist culture in Thailand
The location of “Lao” society
The establishment and religious composition of Thai-Lao villages in Northeast Thailand
Village religion: Structure and change
The Buddhism of power and Mo Tham in Northeast Thailand
The transformation of village Buddhism and the forest temple
Thai-Lao society and practical religion today

Published by Trans Pacific Press
April 2005, 300 pp.
ISBN 4 87698 454 9, hardback, £40.00
ISBN 1 876843 41 1, paperback, £19.99