Download Buddhism and the Political Process by Hiroko Kawanami PDF

By Hiroko Kawanami

In its interpretation of Buddhism either as a cultural history and social ideology, this edited quantity seeks to appreciate how Buddhist values and global perspectives have impacted at the political technique of many nations in Asia. of their respective paintings in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Tibet, the participants interact with an interactive typology initially proposed by way of the overdue Ian Harris, to whom the ebook is devoted. Adopting an interdisciplinary technique, they discover the interplay among Buddhism and politics, non secular authority and political energy, contemplating matters that problem the politicization of priests, proliferation of violence, management, citizenship, democracy and communalism with a view to additional comprehend the interface among Buddhism and politics in sleek and modern times.

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Ashiwa, Y. and Wank, D. (2006) ‘The Politics of a Reviving Buddhist Temple,’ Journal of Asian Studies 65, 337–60. Nichols, B. (2011) History, Material Culture and Auspicious Events at the Purple Cloud: Buddhist Monasticism at Quanzhou Kaiyuan (PhD Dissertation, Rice University), p. 376. See the essays in Ashiwa Y. and Wank, D. eds. (2009) Making Religion, Making the State (Stanford: Stanford University Press), and also Borchert, T. (2009) ‘Relocating the Center of a Sangha: Minority Buddhists, Local Politics and the Construction of a New Temple in Southwest China,’ paper presented at ‘Place/No Place: Spatial Aspects of Urban Asian Religiosity,’ Syracuse University.

In China, the religious status does not normally shape one’s political status. Indeed, despite the fact that the Chinese state regulates religions in particular ways, it is in some sense ‘blind’ to the fact that the monks are Buddhist as opposed to Christian or Daoist. In Thailand, on the other hand, while Buddhism is not a constitutionally mandated religion in Thailand, it does have a special place in Thai society. This 26 On Being a Monk and a Citizen in Thailand and China specialness, according to many Thais, means that it is also in some ways outside of society, and thus outside of politics (even though in other ways it is not).

Let me highlight that describing how Therav¯ada monks crossed borders is complicated. Over the last decade and a half, policies have changed fairly regularly as different states have tried to make a very porous border less porous. In general, until recently, monks did not need passports to cross borders, particularly around the Buddhist states of mainland Southeast Asia, though as the ‘fake monk’ dynamic discussed above shows, this is an issue that caused some anxiety for the Thai state. The Chinese government has issued ‘border books for China and Burma’ (zhong-mian huzhao), passports for people living on the border areas to be able to cross back and forth fairly freely.

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