Innovative Religiosity and Multi-Religious Spaces in Postwar Sri Lanka

Grants and Contracts Details


This is a preliminary investigation of whether multi-religious sites and practices in post-conflict Sri Lanka have a mitigating effect on that island nation’s present and future inter-religious tensions. Sri Lanka is a religiously and ethnically plural nation-state that, in 2009, concluded a religiously inflected civil war. First, this research will involve doing ethnographic fieldwork in Sri Lanka at sites, such as Kataragama, Sri Pada and Madhu Church, where Sri Lanka’s Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians mingle and, sometimes, engage in multi-religious ritual actions. Second, additional fieldwork will be conducted with religious organizations, such as the Sai Baba movement and at urban meditation centers, that seem to be evolving new forms of multi-religiosity. Finally, we will look at religious practices, such as dancing kavadi (ecstatic dancing), giving dana (disinterested giving), and celebrating Christmas that appear to be attracting participants from multiple religions. The purpose of this research is three-fold: (1) to challenge conventionally theoretical thinking about the role of religiosity in post-conflict societies; (2) to consider the policy implications of multi-religiosity with respect to questions of inter-ethnic and inter-religious reconciliation; (3) to lay the groundwork for future, longer-term research on this topic.
Effective start/end date3/1/185/15/19


  • University of Notre Dame: $25,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.