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In July 1813, a young American couple from Boston arrived in the Buddhist kingdom of Burma to preach the gospel. Although Burmese Buddhists largely resisted Christian evangelism, members of minority religious communities embraced Baptist teachings and practices, reimagining both Buddhism and Christianity in the process. In her new book, Baptizing Burma: Religious Change in the Last Buddhist Kingdom, religious studies scholar Alex Kaloyanides explores this history of power and conversion through the lens of sacred objects. Previously Tricycle’s managing editor, Kaloyanides now serves as an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, sits down with Kaloyanides to discuss the religious material culture of 19th-century Burma, what we miss when we study religions solely through their texts, and how her research has shaped how she thinks about religious conflict today.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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