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The Rebirth of Bodh Gaya


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Pathbreaking. This comprehensive treatment of Bodh Gaya as a center of religious pilgrimage and heritage tourism contextualizes exactly how this small town in India captured such a position of primacy within a global, transnational imaginary of Buddhist heritage. -- Andrea Marion Pinkney, associate professor of Asian religions, McGill University I read this book with great delight. Geary's argument to go beyond viewing Bodh Gaya as a tourist site to one of global connection is an important and timely one as a transnational Buddhist public culture is flourishing across Asia. -- Justin Thomas McDaniel, author of Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words: Histories of Buddhist Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand

Table of Contents

Note on Translation and Transliteration
Map of Bodh Gaya
1. The Light of Asia
2. Rebuilding the Navel of the Earth
3. The Afterlife of Zamindari
4. Tourism in the Global Bazaar
5. A Master Plan for World Heritage

About the Author

David Geary is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He is the coeditor of Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Buddhist Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka.


Readers that are interested in Indian history and current affairs, as well as those curious about the heritage management aspects of a World Heritage designation will surely enjoy this book .

* World Heritage Site Blog *

[W]ith a long and wide-open lens, he explores Bodh Gaya's overlapping histories, governance and land reform struggles, and the religio-ethnic complexities at work in its centuries-old place making...He tacks among the global, national, and hyperlocal forces that have shaped Bodh Gaya's built environment, sought to reclaim India's Buddhist heritage, and formed a dense network of pan-Asian Buddhists that dominate the ritual life of Bodh Gaya, often in tension with local authorities and Hindu and Muslim residents.

* American Ethnologist *

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