Craig J. Reynolds

Professor Craig J. Reynolds is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Culture, History and Language at The Australian National University. A historian of mainland Southeast Asia, he has taught in the University of Sydney’s Department of History and in the Faculty of Asian Studies at ANU, and has held visiting appointments at Cornell University, the University of California-Berkeley and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. His research in cultural, political and intellectual history has been published in the USA, Thailand and Australia, and has been translated into Thai and Chinese. A second volume of his essays in Thai is in preparation. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Power, Protection and Magic in Thailand »

The Cosmos of a Southern Policeman

Authored by: Craig J. Reynolds
Publication date: October 2019
This biographical study of an unusual southern policeman explores the relationship between religion and power in Thailand during the early twentieth century when parts of the country were remote and banditry was rife. Khun Phan (1898–2006), known as Lion Lawman, sometimes used rather too much lethal force in carrying out his orders. He was the most famous graduate of a monastic academy in the mid-south, whose senior teachers imparted occult knowledge favoured by fighters on both sides of the law. Khun Phan imbibed this knowledge to confront the risks and uncertainty that lay ahead and bolster his confidence and self-reliance for his struggle with adversaries. Against the background of national events, the story is rooted in the mid-south where the policeman was born and died. Based on a wide range of works in Thai language, on field trips to the region and on interviews with local and regional scholars as well as the policeman’s descendants, this generously illustrated book, accompanied by short video clips, brings to life the distinctive environment of the lakes district on the Malay Peninsula.