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SEASSI Lecture Series: Anthony Irwin

July 1, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Magical Swords from Northern Thailand
Anthony Irwin

Postdoctoral Fellow
Society for the Humanities
Cornell University

This talk focuses on the production, ritual use, and recent mass proliferation of magical swords in northern Thailand. Considered to be some of the most powerful Buddhist objects in the northern Thai ritual repertoire, magical swords constitute a category of objects that are connected to state power, ritual efficacy, divine might, and the ability to change the course of personal spiritual progression through numerous rounds of rebirth. By presenting a number of historical, ethnographic, textual, and material examples of magical swords, this talk presents how northern Thai Buddhists use swords to demarcate Buddhist space, protect their homes from malevolent powers, and liberate themselves from the unruly forces of desire and attachment. Attendance is free and open to the public. No pre-registration required, join via Zoom here. You can RSVP to the Facebook event here.


July 1, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm