Journal of Burma Studies

Volume 7, Abstracts

Adoniram Judson and the Creation of a Missionary Discourse in Pre-Colonial Burma

Helen James

In the following paper I argue that Adoniram Judson, the first American Baptist Missionary to Burma, was strongly empathetic with his adopted country. His work as interpreter-translator during the negotiations leading to the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826 and his visits to Ava both immediately before and after the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826), although coached in the language of Christian mission, exhibited characteristics markedly different from the perspective of Ann Judson’s memoir and from those of certain missionary narratives subsequent to his own. I propose to examine aspects of three texts:  Ann Judson’s An Account of the American Baptist Mission to the Burman Empire; Henry Gouger’s Personal Narrative of Two Years Imprisonment in Burmah; and Adoniram Judson’s deposition to John Crawfurd. I shall also refer to J. Snodgrass’ Narrative of the Burmese War (1824-1826) and Henry Trant’s Two Years in Ava for other perspectives of some events.

Germans in Burma, 1837–1945

Hans-Bernd Zöllner

This article gives an account of the Germans who lived in Burma or who visited the country between the beginnings of British rule in 1826 and the end of World War II. After surveying German-Burmese relations from 1826 until today, the manifold German engagement in Burma before World War I is detailed. This engagement was followed by a sharp decline in the number of Germans living in the country other than for short periods between the two great wars. After World War II, on the German side, there was almost no memory of German activities in Burma left. By contrast the Burmese kept and keep this memory very much alive.

A Preliminary Study of Burmese Prophetic Sayings

Saw Tun

The Burmese people are known to be superstitious in many ways.  One is a belief in prophetic saying known as tabaun. This paper explains how in the past, people placed importance on these prophetic sayings. It describes how learned Buddhist monks have reminded people not to be influenced by them. Rather, they should be concerned with their kamma.

Making a Name for Themselves: Karen Identity and the Politicization of Ethnicity in Burma

Jessica Harriden

The history of Karen nationalism has been interpreted in terms of inter-ethnic conflict and conceptualizations of ethnicity have influenced understanding of Karen political identity. While ‘Karen’ incorporated various linguistic, sociocultural, religious and political sub-groups, the Karen National Union (KNU) elite promoted a singular pan-Karen identity in order to minimize such diversity. As a result, factionalism emerged between different Karen groups, obstructing the KNU’s political vision and leaving many Karens dissatisfied with KNU attempts to represent their various interests. The fall of Manerplaw in 1995 was thus the result of intra-ethnic conflict as much as conflict between Karens and non-Karens.

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