“Understanding Buddhist Death” in Films

The Centre for Buddhist Studies, Bristol University, carried out a major research project on the Understanding of Buddhist Death from 2007-11. The outcome of the project are not only numerous publications, but also a range of ethnographic films documenting death rituals in Laos, Thailand and China. The main focus, however, is on death rituals and ceremonies in Laos.

The project was an interdisciplinary collaboration between anthropologists and experts in Religious Studies. It was the first comparative academic study of Buddhist death rituals in these two very distinct cultural areas resulting in the production of ethnographic films. Some of the chosen locations and rituals, such as the festivals for the dead in Laos and China, have not been documented and published before.
An overview and links to the films can be found on the Understanding Buddhist Death Project homepage.

Offering trays at a Buddhist temple in Laos. Source: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/religion/buddhist-centre/projects/bdr/

Offering trays at a Buddhist temple in Laos. Source: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/religion/buddhist-centre/projects/bdr/

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Filed under Laos, Research project, Thailand

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