By Ian Harris
Weber's declare that Buddhism is an otherworldly faith is barely in part precise. Early resources point out that the Buddha was once occasionally diverted from supramundane pursuits to reside on a number of politically-related concerns. the importance of Asoka Maurya as a paradigm for later traditions of Buddhist kingship can also be well-attested. even though, there was little scholarly attempt to combine findings at the quantity to which Buddhism interacted with the political order within the classical and smooth states of Theravada Asia right into a wider, comparative learn. This quantity brings jointly the brightest minds within the examine of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Their contributions create a extra coherent account of the kin among Buddhism and political order within the past due pre-modern and smooth interval through wondering the contested dating among monastic and secular strength. In doing so, they extend the very nature of what's referred to as the 'Theravada'.
Buddhism, strength and Political Order bargains new insights for students of Buddhism, and it'll stimulate new debates.
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Extra resources for Buddhism, Power and Political Order
Others are the myittasa and rajovada genres, in which monks and ex-monks expound dhamma to the king. It was in the 1870s that Burmese thinkers ﬁrst broke out of these genres. 26 R A J A D H A M M A C O N F RO N T S L E V I A T H A N My chapter focuses on the ﬁrst Burmese account of politics to appear in print, and on the ﬁrst to be written as the policy statement of a coup d’état. Hence the reference in my title to the 1870s. Leviathan is the epithet J. S. Furnivall gave to the Anglo-Burmese colonial state (Furnivall 1939).
I D E A L I S M A N D P R AG M AT I S M most progressive monasteries were not always ready to embrace western secular education. 9 The king’s vision of ‘progressive education’ was planned and implemented by his brother Prince-Patriarch Vajirayan, who combined the study of Buddhism and the secular subjects newly introduced from the west. The Prince-Patriarch was educated in the palace secular school and later also at Wat Makutkasat, where he studied for a Pali degree. However, although under him Wat Bovonives became a teachers’ training college for some time, it did not become the desired centre of learning that promoted secular knowledge guided by Buddhist philosophy for the masses.
It contains a mixture of lists and stories taken from both the canon and the dhammathats. I shall concentrate on what Kyaw Htun tells us in the Prize Essay about king-law. He presents a list of king-law lists, with checksum 28: The Laws binding on a King or Ruler, numbering twenty-eight in all, are the [4 solidarities] (sangahavatthu) . . the [3 coronations] (abhiseka). (Kyaw Htun 1877: 3) Kyaw Htun set these lists within his telling of the Maha¯sammata story, making it far more explicitly a social contract than it was in the Aggañña sutta (see Huxley 1996: 407; Collins 1996: 42).