AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Kevin Trainor: Relics, Ritual and Representation in the Theravada Tradition of Sri Lanka. Rematerializing the Sri Lankan Theravada Tradition

by Michael Pye

Institution: Philipps-Universit├Ąt Marburg
Year: 2015
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2118051
Full text PDF: 10.17192/mjr.1998.3.3770;


This work, by Kevin Trainor of Western Michigan University, USA, would appear to be the first widely ranging and yet detailed treatment of the cult of relics in the Buddhist tradition. Given the importance of relics in Buddhism it is astonishing that previous work on the subject has been mainly incidental and partial. Though the subject may seem abstruse to outsiders, is actually quite central to the understanding of Buddhist religiosity in the Theravada tradition. This work is based on an expert knowledge of the relevant sources in Pali Buddhism and is extremely well-worked from a philological point of view. The level of execution is extremely good throughout. The overall style is really excellent, the signposting of references and correlation with the wider literature is very helpfully done. In short, the work is a pleasure to read.