Stanley J Tambiah: Celebrating His Work
Stanley J. Tambiah, was the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Social Anthropology Emeritus, and a world-renowned scholar. Author of ten books and countless articles, Tambiah was known for his brilliance and intellectual generosity, his ability to synthesize multiple intellectual problems across regional and temporal boundaries and for his grand theoretical vision of anthropological theory. His pioneering books and articles span analyses of violence; democracy and communalism in South Asia; a trilogy of books about Buddhism, (pre-modern and modern) state-making kingship, rural religiosity; the power of religious objects and dogmas in Thailand; and multiple essays in his books Culture, Thought and Social Action and Magic, Science, Religion and the Scope of Rationality that reflected upon classical anthropological problems of rationality, ritual, religion, and performance where he rethought them in unique ways. This panel will discuss Tambiah’s intellectual vision and some of his major ideas, and reflect upon his lasting impact on Buddhist Studies and Anthropology.