Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Revitalising Ravana: An Exploration of Contemporary Representations of Ravana Among Sinhalese in Sri Lanka

De Koning, Deborah
Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion

This explorative article revolves around contemporary views on Ravana as one of the components of Ravanisation – i.e., the current revitalisation of Ravana among Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Compared to some earlier Sinhalese movements in which Ravana was first and foremost portrayed as a king, numerous of his devotees nowadays ascribe divine characteristics to him. By discussing three examples from explorative fieldwork research it is argued that a focus on the current diverse views on Ravana – including the ones in which he is revitalised – and ‘lived religion’ are both important to gain insight into the contemporary Ravanisation.