Nov. 1, 2022

Buddhist Scholar Justin McDaniel Discusses the History & Meaning of Thai Amulets [S6.E13]

Buddhist Scholar Justin McDaniel Discusses the History & Meaning of Thai Amulets [S6.E13]

Greg interviews Buddhist scholar Justin McDaniel on the topic of Buddhism amulets. Justin is a true scholar of religion, especially Asian religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, but he developed a strong interest in Buddhist amulets after he visited...


Greg interviews Buddhist scholar Justin McDaniel on the topic of Buddhism amulets. Justin is a true scholar of religion, especially Asian religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, but he developed a strong interest in Buddhist amulets after he visited Thailand for the first time when he was a young man. 

Greg asks Justin what actually makes an amulet special, and Justin goes into a lengthy explanation of the ‘recipes’ and ‘ingredients’ that go into an amulet’s construction, from very specific types of soil to various prayers and incantations that are made when it is created. Some amulets even contain flakes of gold from statues of famous monks or in some cases, even the blood of the monk himself. 

Greg and Justin continue and discuss such interesting topics as how the value of amulets is determined, the relationship between amulets and relics, the role that myth and mystery play in the popularity of amulets, and the sometimes crass commercialization in the amulet industry. 

Listen in for a fascinating discussion with a true expert in a rarely studied field. 

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