Nicola (Nikki) Tannenbaum, Professor of Anthropology at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, will present a seminar, 'Flying his soul to heaven: the funeral for the abbot of the Naaplaatsaat temple, Maehongson, Thailand' to the BAHAR group on Wednesday February 29, 2011, from 5 to 6.30 p.m. The seminar will take place in the Humanities Building, Cardiff University, in Room 3.48. Wine and nibbles provided. All welcome. Enquiries to Geoffrey Samuel.
Professor Tannenbaum is a leading specialist on Southeast Asian Buddhist societies, known especially for her work on the Shan people of Northern Thailand. Her books include Who Can Compete Against the World: Power-Protection and Buddhism in Shan Worldview, and three edited volumes: At the Interface : The Household and Beyond, co-edited with David Small, and Merit and Blessing in Mainland Southeast Asia and Founders' Cults in Southeast Asia, both co-edited with Cornelia Kammerer. She is currently at SOAS as the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies to deliver the prestigious Numata Lecture Series. We have taken advantage of her visit to the UK to invite her up to Cardiff to present a seminar here.
Nicola introduces her seminar as follows: "The abbot of the Naaplaatsaat village temple passed away in April 21, 2008. He received an extraordinary, elaborate funeral. Here I discuss the life of the monk and the reasons for this funeral. I go on to describe the funeral preparations and the funeral itself. I then briefly compare it with other funerals for monks to highlight the similarities and differences."