R.L. Sirrat, Power and Religiosity in a Post-Colonial Setting: Sinhala Catholics in Contemporary Sri Lanka (1992), Chapters 1-3
This week College of the Holy Cross Professor Mathew Schmalz visited to give us a slide show about a recent trip to the Sri Lankan pilgrimage site, Kudagama. Kudagama is prominently featured in R. L. Stirrat’s book, Power and Religiosity in a Post-Colonial Setting: Sinhala Catholics in Contemporary Sri Lanka, which we read this week. What Stirrat doesn’t talk about, because these changes took place after he finished his fieldwork, is that Kudagama has become a Charismatic “hot-spot” (this is Thomas Csordas’ term coined in his article, “A Global Geography of the Spirit: The Case of Catholic Charismatic Communities”). That is, Kudagama’s original priest and founder has retired and it is now run by a priest affiliated with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Professor Schmalz’s pictures show rituals that take place at Kudagama today, many of which are associated with the Charismatic Renewal.