We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Context-bound Islamic theodicies : the tsunami as supernatural retribution versus natural catastrophe in Southern Thailand.

Merli, C. (2010) 'Context-bound Islamic theodicies : the tsunami as supernatural retribution versus natural catastrophe in Southern Thailand.', Religion., 40 (2). pp. 104-111.


After the tsunami of 26 December 2004, local discourses in the prevalently Muslim Satun province in Southern Thailand were characterized by religious interpretations of the disaster. The range of Islamic interpretations varied, and was far from homogeneous. Statements are framed in plural theodicies and ultimately impute disasters to human responsibility, in apparent contrast to both scientific explanations and other Islamic tenets. The aim of this article is to present the range of theodicies associated with the event and to analyze their use in relation to the specific socio-historical and ethno-political context, in the words of people belonging to the Islamic and Buddhist religious élites. In these examples religious discourses leave behind the theological universalistic explanations of the existence of suffering and evil to become context bound commentaries on the state of morality of local communities, with the aim of defining social boundaries.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Religion. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Religion, 40, 2, 2010, 10.1016/j.religion.2009.12.003.
Record Created:15 Mar 2010 11:50
Last Modified:14 Jul 2014 16:27

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library