Mapping Power: Ordering the Cosmos through the Coronation Ceremonies of Konbaung Burma


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Committee on the Study of Religion


This dissertation examines the historical process through which coronation rituals were repaired, theorized, and memorialized in Burma of the Konbaung period. These practices were central to a project of reproducing Buddhist principles of order, defined as schemes of power, purity, and auspiciousness that organize persons, objects, and places. These ordering principles pervasively structured Buddhist texts, practices, and institutions. They did not exist as an explicit worldview, but an intuitive feeling of where things “should be.” Coronation ceremonies stood as core practices, which calibrated other practices of Buddhist ordering principles. Studying coronation texts, and their associated Buddhist ordering principles, offers new opportunities to remap the field of Buddhist and politics.