Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand

Encounters with Buddhist Monks

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Brooke Schedneck
  • Seattle: 
    University of Washington Press
    , May
     2021.
     242 pages.
     $30.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780295748924.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Temples are everywhere in Chiang Mai, filled with tourists as well as saffron-robed monks of all ages. The monks participate in daily urban life here as elsewhere in Thailand, where Buddhism is promoted, protected, and valued as a tourist attraction. Yet this mountain city offers more than a fleeting, commodified tourist experience, as the encounters between foreign visitors and Buddhist monks can have long-lasting effects on both parties.

These religious contacts take place where economic motives, missionary zeal, and opportunities for cultural exchange coincide. Brooke Schedneck incorporates fieldwork and interviews with student monks and tourists to examine the innovative ways that Thai Buddhist temples offer foreign visitors spaces for religious instruction and popular in-person Monk Chat sessions in which tourists ask questions about Buddhism. Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand also considers how Thai monks perceive other religions and cultures and how they represent their own religion when interacting with tourists, resulting in a revealing study of how religious traditions adapt to an era of globalization.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Brooke Schedneck is assistant professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and author of Thailand’s International Meditation Centers: Tourism and the Global Commodification of Religious Practices.

Keywords: 

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