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Accueil > Séminaires et enseignements > Séminaire "Anthropologie comparée du bouddhisme" > Séminaire "Anthropologie comparée du bouddhisme 2016-2020

"Comparative anthropology of Buddhism" seminar, 2020-21


Buddhist Ritualities

Given by B. Brac de la Perrière (Centre Asie du Sud-Est) and N. Sihlé (CNRS-CEH).

The seminar operates on the principle of a monthly session on a Friday each month, from 9.30am to 12.30pm, and is held at EHESS, 54 boulevard Raspail, Paris, 6th arrondissement, or online. It is compulsory for students wishing to validate the Master’s course "Asian Studies - History and Social Sciences" and is open to students from any other course.

The seminar focuses on the comparative study of the rituals of Buddhist societies based on original or already published ethnographies. The comparison will revolve around two poles, Theravāda Buddhism (especially Burmese) on the one hand, and Mahāyāna (especially Tibetan) Buddhism on the other. From a comparative anthropological perspective, taking an interest in rituals in the Buddhist world raises questions regarding typology, analysing ritual configurations and place in a ritual field, or regarding the characteristics (specific to regional / national or more shared traditions) of Buddhist ritualities : principles of effectiveness, forms of socio-religious anchoring, privileged ritual forms, etc. More broadly speaking, it will be a question each time of relaunching existing debates on the theory of ritual. A key dimension of the analysis will be the systematic engagement in a comparative approach.
Sessions :

16 October 2020 : Introduction : le rituel, les lieux du religieux, les calendriers

6 November 2020 : La donation en contexte de rituel collectif

4 December 2020 : Rituels d’institution : entrée dans le sangha, initiations

29 January 2021 : Rituels d’État ou de renouvellement de l’ordre socio-cosmique

5 February 2021 : Rituels collectifs de gestion de la mort

5 March 2021 : Exorcismes et rituels apotropaïques

2 April 2021 : Rituels de lecture de textes canoniques

7 May 2021 : Présentation de leurs travaux par les étudiants

4 June 2021 : Pèlerinage

A choice of reading (some of which is compulsory for students enrolled on the course) can be found in the following Dropbox file (subfolder "2020-21_seminaire_Ritualites4") :


Download programme for 2020-21 (in French)

Contacts : Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière (brac [at] and Nicolas Sihlé (nicolas.sihle [at]