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The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia
The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia
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Donald K. Swearer - Author
N/A
Hardcover - 272 pages
Release Date: July 1995
ISBN10: 0-7914-2459-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-2459-9

Out of Print
N/A
Paperback - 272 pages
Release Date: July 1995
ISBN10: 0-7914-2460-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-2460-5

Out of Print
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Summary

This is a synthesis and interpretation of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. No other book matches its depth and breadth or its balance of scholarly interpretation and readable personal portrayal

"This book surveys many themes. Although rooted in cultural and religious matters, it is also a good historical review of the Theravada tradition. Buddhism in Southeast Asia is spiritually and culturally very dynamic, but it also has a political importance that makes it a timely theme for those interested in this part of the world--those not necessarily informed about the history and power of religion in Southeast Asia.

"There are many books by notable authorities on the Buddhist world of Southeast Asia. However, these are almost always focused on just one country or culture, while the Swearer book embraces the whole region. I know of no other text in the English language that sets down such a good descriptive analysis of contemporary Theravada practices." -- Bruce Matthews, Acadia University, Nova Scotia

This book is a remarkable synthesis and empathetic interpretation of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. No other single book matches its depth and breadth, or its balance between scholarly interpretation and sensitive first person portrayal. The author focuses his analysis on Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia as a dynamic, complex system of thought and practice imbedded in the respective cultures, societies, and histories of Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. The book discusses three distinct but interrelated aspects of this system: the popular tradition in terms of paradigms of ideal action, rituals, festivals, and rites of passage; Buddhism as civic religion in terms of King Asoka as the paradigmatic Buddhist monarch, cosmology and kingship, and Buddhism and the modern nation state; and modern transformations of the tradition in terms of the changing roles of the monk and the laity, modern reform movements, and Buddhism in the West.

Donald K. Swearer is Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.


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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction
The Study of Religion and the Visual
The Aim of the Monograph

One The Popular Tradition: Inclusive Syncretism
Ideal Action
Ritual Occasions, Merit, and the Appropriation of Power
Festivals
Rites of Passage

Two Buddhism as Civil Religion: Political Legitimation and National Integration
Asoka, the Exemplary Buddhist Ruler
Kings and Cosmology
The Buddha as Cosmocrator
Modern Nationalism and Buddhism
Three Modernization: The Dynamic of Tradition and Change
The Changing Role of the Monk
The Changing Role of the Laity
Buddhism and the West

Postscript
Appendix 1 Sigalaka Sutta: Code of Lay Ethics
Appendix 2 Audio Visual Bibliography
Appendix 3 Borobudur

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index of Authors

Index of Subjects



Related Subjects
30101/30102(WDE//)

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