III-2. “Basic Research on Minorities and Christianity in Mainland Southeast Asia through Ronald Renard’s Collection” (H29 FY2017)

  • Project Leader : Tazaki Ikuko (Otani University, Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute)
  • Collaborators : Hayami Yoko (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies),
  • : Wada Michihiro (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies)
  • : Nittayaporn Prompanya (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies)
  • : Anchalee Singhanetra-Renard (Freelance Researcher)
  • : Pisith Nasee (Chiang Mai University, Faculty of Social Sciences)

Outline of Research

This project aims to contribute to the development of research on minorities and religion in mainland Southeast Asia by collecting and classifying documents on minorities and development projects in the region that are in the collection of the late historian Ronald Renard. This project also plans to collect historical documents at universities and research institutes around Chiang Mai city for the purpose of cataloging books and documents about ethnic minorities and religion in the area. Finally, this project will bring a part of the Renard collection to the CSEAS library in order for researchers to make use of them.


Chiang Mai, an ancient city located in Northern Thailand, is a center of research about minorities in mainland Southeast Asia. The Chiang Mai University library holds documents about minority peoples and their histories in Northern Thailand. The Payap University Archive, also in Chiang Mai, holds documents relating to Baptist missionaries’ activities, as well as the late Ronald Duane Renard’s (1947-2014) personal collection, which contains rare documents in local languages on ethnic minorities and public development projects in Thailand and Myanmar written by Christian missionaries. Dr. Renard lived in Chiang Mai from the 1980s until his death, and conducted historical research on various topics, including ethnic minorities and Christianity. His collection of documents and books is really valuable.

This research project will first collect, classify, and catalog documents and books in the Ronald Renard collection in order to construct a research resource hub for ethnic and religious studies in the area. Secondly, the project will bring a part of the collection to the CSEAS library so that the documents may be used in Japan to develop research about minorities and religion in mainland Southeast Asia.

The research group consists of historians, anthropologists, geographers, and scholars studying religion and minorities. Because the members can understand several local languages, such as Thai, Northern Thai, Burmese, Karen, and Mon, it is possible to classify and evaluate the documents properly. By collecting and cataloging books and documents that are currently scattered in several locations and in danger of being lost, we will contribute to the formation of a resource hub based on such a valuable collection.


Dr. Renard (center) practicing a ritual at a ethnic minority’s village 2003. December, 8th

Dr. Renard (left) researching megalith at Plain of Jars, Laos 2003. September, 18th