In many parts of the contemporary world, spirit beliefs and practices have taken on a pivotal role in addressing the discontinuities and uncertainties of modern life. The myriad ways in which devotees engage the spirit world show the tremendous creative potential of these practices and their innate adaptability to changing times and circumstances. Through in-depth anthropological case studies from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, the contributors to this book investigate the role and impact of different social, political, and economic dynamics in the reconfiguration of local spirit worlds in modern Southeast Asia. Their findings contribute to the re-enchantment debate by revealing that the "e;spirited modernities"e; that have emerged in the process not only embody a distinct feature of the contemporary moment, but also invite a critical rethinking of the concept of modernity itself.
Engaging the Spirit World
Popular Beliefs and Practices in Modern Southeast Asia