Modern Thai Buddhism and Buddhadasa Bhikkhu: A Social History (Paperback)Tomomi Ito (author)
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The Buddhist monk Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-93) injected fresh life into Thai Buddhism by exploring and teaching little known transcendent aspects of the religion. His investigations excited both monks and lay people, and gave rise to vigourous discussion in shops, temple yards and newly founded Buddhist associations. While these discussions included serious exchanges on doctrine and practice, they also included jokes and light humour, criticisms of weak evidence for certain positions, and a defamation campaign arising from rumours that Buddhadasa was a communist sympathiser.
Much of this material was captured in Buddhist journals and in numerous "pocket books" aimed at a general audience. Departing from the classical method of studying Buddhism through philology, Tomomi Ito's account of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu draws on this popular literature and on conversations with a broad spectrum of the people involved in these exchanges. The result is a lively intellectual and social history of contemporary Thai Buddhism built around the life of an exceptional monk who captured the interest of Buddhists pursuing spiritual depth in the context of the ideological conflicts of the Cold War.
Publisher: NUS Press
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 850 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
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