A group of Buddhist monks in orange robes are seated on stairs.  They raise their hands in a three-fingered gesture.  The central monk holds up an alms bowl, upside down.

MF CASR Lunch with Iselin Frydenlund

Religious Responses to the Coup in Myanmar


19.10.2021 - 11:30
Iselin Frydenlund

Please join us for this MF CASR Lunch in person at the MF Library, or watch on Zoom.  (Click here for the Zoom link.)

Zoom Meeting ID: 641 0559 5003
Passcode: MFCASR

After a decade’s interlude of limited political liberalization (2011–2021), Myanmar is once again under direct military rule, administered by the State Administration Council (SAC). The February 1,2021 coup by the military was met with massive protests—probably in a scale unimagined by the military itself—that have radically transformed political as well as military dynamics. Within days, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets demanding an end to military rule, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the release of 400 members of parliament under house arrest, and the restoration of the elected government. At the same time, the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) was formed, which quickly spread across the public sector and furthermore, soon went beyond the public sector, including, at least informally, a wide range of civil society organizations and religious institutions.

This talk will address the multiple religious responses to the coup: In what ways have religious symbols and practices informed resistance to the coup? How have religious actors and religious institutions responded to the coup? And, how do the responses compare to previous uprisings and military crackdowns such as in 1988 and 2007?

The talk builds on a recently published article Religious Responses to the Military Coup in Myanmar, co-authored by Iselin Frydenlund, Pum Za Mang, Phyo Wai & Susan Hayward (2021).