Comparative anthropology of Buddhism workshop: ritual and modernity

The Centre for Himalayan Studies and the Southeast Asia Centre units of the French CNRS (Villejuif / Paris) are pursuing their collaboration in the form of a series of day-long thematic workshops in the comparative anthropology of Buddhism, this year (2015-16) on the general theme of “Religion and the Secular”.

This year’s third workshop will be held exceptionally on a Tuesday: 24 May 2016.
Its theme is:

Ritual and modernity in Buddhist contexts.

As a conceptual backdrop to this workshop, one finds theories of modernity and disenchantment and their crucial correctives: theories of enchanted modernity, scholarship on prosperity religions, and the like. It is also essential, in this workshop, to recognize the diverse nature of what we call “ritual”: the above-mentioned theoretical discussions have focused primarily on rituals of this-worldly efficacy and potency—magical rituals, if one wants—but the question of other forms of ritual, such as mass collective religious rituals, and their own possible “modern” specificities (as addressed here in M. Kapstein’s talk), needs also to be addressed.

Please find the short program below, and the complete program, with abstracts and bibliographical suggestions, here.

All interested scholars and students are most welcome to join us.
Please contact: Nicolas Sihlé (nsihle [at]

Past and future sessions of these workshops:

2013-14 (1st year of the “Buddhist religious fields” cycle):

2014-15 (2nd year of the “Buddhist religious fields” cycle):

2015-16 (“Religion and the Secular” cycle):



Cite this blog post
Nicolas Sihlé (2016, May 17). Comparative anthropology of Buddhism workshop: ritual and modernity. The Himalayas and beyond. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from

Nicolas Sihlé

Nicolas Sihlé, a sociocultural anthropologist, is researcher at the Center for Himalayan Studies, a research unit of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) based in Villejuif (France). He specializes on Tibetan religion and society, and is the author of Rituels bouddhiques de pouvoir et de violence : La figure du tantriste tibétain [Buddhist rituals of power and violence : The figure of the Tibetan tantrist] (Brepols, 2013). His current work focuses on post-Mao socioreligious transitions in and around the famous communities of non-monastic specialists of tantric Buddhism in northeast Tibet (Amdo), and more generally on the comparative anthropology of Buddhism.

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