Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Nathan Katz

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Terry Rey

Third Advisor's Name

Steven Heine

Date of Defense

7-21-2003

Abstract

Drawing on the ritual theory of “rebounding violence” as developed by Maurice Bloch, the contemporary anthropologist, the thesis examined some kingship rituals periodically observed in Nepal and highlighted their political implications. The study also made an assessment of the concept of “divine kingship” in orthodox “Hindu” tradition and traced connections between religion and politics.

In Nepal, kingship is taken as a symbol of sovereign power and national unity, and the king is often revered in public festivals as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, or as a representative of some other divinities such as Indra, Bhairava and the Buddha. The thesis explored such rituals, demystified the concept of “divine kingship,” and displayed through historical evidences how Nepali rulers have appropriated religious occasions for their own legitimacy.

Identifier

FI14060150

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