9780226748658

The Work of Kings: The New Buddhism in Sri Lanka

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226748658

  • ISBN10:

    0226748650

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-04-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

The Work of Kingsis a stunning new look at the turbulent modern history and sociology of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Monkhood and its effects upon contemporary society. Using never-before translated Sinhalese documents and extensive interviews with monks, Sri Lankan anthropologist H.L. Seneviratne unravels the inner workings of this New Buddhism and the ideology on which it is based. Beginning with Anagarika Dharmapala's "rationalization" of Buddhism in the early twentieth century, which called for monks to take on a more activist role in the community, Seneviratne shows how the monks have gradually revised their role to include involvement in political and economic spheres. The altruistic, morally pure monks of Dharamapala's dreams have become, Seneviratne trenchantly argues, self-centered and arrogant, concealing self-aggrandizement behind a faccedil;ade of "social service." A compelling call for reform and a forceful analysis,The Work of Kingsis essential to anthropologists, historians of religion, and those interested in colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonial politics.

Author Biography

H. L. Seneviratne is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Virginia

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Note on Usage xv
Buddhism, Civil Society, and the Present Study
1(24)
Dharmapala and the Definition of the Monk's Mission
25(31)
The Economic Stage: Vidyodaya and Rural Development
56(74)
Vidyalankara: The Descent into Ideology
130(59)
Social Service: The Anatomy of a Vocation
189(88)
The Critique of the Monkhood
277(56)
Conclusion: From Regeneration to Degeneration
333(16)
Index 349

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