The Fate of Rural Hell
‘Anderson presents us with a miniature masterpiece of political and social interpretation, using a popular but atypical religious site to explore, from an unusual angle, the intersection of Buddhist piety, educational and social hierarchy, erotic sensibilities, and the remnants of rural feudalism in Thai society as it lurches unevenly toward more egalitarian relations. This brief but gripping book leaves a long, complex, and lasting taste on the mental palate.’ —Anthropological Forum
‘A crucial manifestation of not only how life and death in Buddhist teaching is perceived and recreated but also illustration of the dynamism—the fates and the faiths—of rural livelihood, the context in which the striving creation of this impressive wat came into existence.’ —Kyoto Review
‘This slender volume, full of many provocative assertions and interpretations, actually constitutes something more like an extended essay than a full-fledged monograph. Its fifty-six pages of thought-provoking text are supplemented by thirty-eight eye-catching photographs which document a cross-section of the statuary that populates the book’s central focus – the “Hell Garden” of Wat Phai Rong Wua.’ —New Mandala
‘Any wat is an imagined community, and this one, a Buddhist Disneyland, presents a special case for Anderson, whose curious book, The Fate of Rural Hell: Asceticism and Desire in Buddhist Thailand, enlivened with startlingly brash photographic evidence, is about currents in the national imagination, about modernity and about forms of religious practice.’ —London Review of Books
If you are ordering from India, your order will be shipped from Seagull Books, Calcutta.
If you are ordering from the US or the UK or anywhere else in the world, your order will be shipped from the University of Chicago Press' distribution centre, Chicago.
Please note: For customers paying in currencies other than Indian rupee or US dollar, prices will be calculated according to the currency conversion rate at the time of purchase and may vary from the printed price.