A Fast-Moving Cosmos: Multiplicity and Fluidity in Contemporary Thai Buddhist Cosmology

Edoardo Siani





This article brings attention to the multiplicity of contemporary Thai Buddhist cosmology and to the fluidity of cosmological notions. An ethnographic focus on divination practitioners (mo du) in Bangkok suggests that Thai Buddhists are constantly involved in the construction of new and highly personal cosmologies, resulting in great cosmological multiplicity. Diviners’ usage of cosmological notions additionally suggests that these cosmologies are fluid, their meanings changing in time and in different contexts. The findings problematize understandings of Thai Buddhist cosmology and cosmological notions as being static and uniformly-shared.


Keywords: Thai Buddhist cosmology, cosmological notions, creation of cosmologies, cosmological narratives, cosmological multiplicity


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 12/2019 (Number 1), Page 1-8)