From Riches to Rags: how new clothes for the dead become old robes for monks 1

  title={From Riches to Rags: how new clothes for the dead become old robes for monks 1},
  author={Rita E M Langer},
  journal={Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society},
  pages={125 - 144}
  • R. Langer
  • Published 20 September 2013
  • Sociology
  • Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Abstract The process whereby existing rituals are taken up and re-envisaged is a well known phenomenon in ritual studies. The offering of a piece of white of cloth to the officiating monks during the Theravāda Buddhist funeral ceremony provides a particularly good example. This custom originates in pre-Buddhist funerary rituals, which included the symbolic covering of the dead body with a new, uncut piece of white cloth intended as a new garment for the deceased, but which was afterwards… 
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