Simas: Histories, Practices, and Politics

Call for Papers – Simas: Histories, Practices, and Politics
Jason A. Carbine, Whittier College,
Erik Davis, Macalester College,
Prompting critical reflection across disciplinary boundaries (e.g., religious, historical, legal, political, art, economic, and ritual studies), as well as regional (e.g., South and Southeast Asian) and global distances, this collection addresses the topic of simas. Common in the Theravada and Sasana Buddhist cultures of Sri Lanka and mainland Southeast Asia, simas are traditionally consecrated boundaries for ordinations and other monastic rituals. Simas are thought to legitimate lineage, and function in many other social, religious, cultural, and political ways. The focus of a growing body of scholarly inquiry (from the seminal studies by Petra Kieffer-Pülz, to essays, dissertations, masters theses, etc.), a great deal of research remains to be done on this crucial, “local” category of Buddhist thought and practice. Papers may adopt any disciplinary or interdisciplinary method and mode of analysis (e.g., text-comparative, historical, ethnographic, art-historical, and political-analytical methods), and examine simas anywhere in the world, past or present. Papers that address ordination structures other than simas, such as kaidans, would also be welcome for consideration.

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