Description: The political and religious identities of Southeast Asia were largely formed by the experiences of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, when international commerce boomed before eventually falling under the domination of well-armed European powers intent on monopoly. This book is the first to document the full range of responses to the profound changes of this period: urbanization and the burgeoning of commerce
the proliferation of firearms
an increase in the number and strength of states
and the shift from experimental spirit worship to the universalist scriptural religions of Islam, Christianity, and Theravada Buddhism.