The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia

The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia

Paperback Suny Series in Religious Studies

By (author) Donald K. Swearer

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  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 141mm x 222mm x 26mm | 372g
  • Publication date: 23 February 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Albany, NY
  • ISBN 10: 143843250X
  • ISBN 13: 9781438432502
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: 2nd
  • Illustrations note: , black & white illustrations, black & white line drawings, figures
  • Sales rank: 899,270

Product description

An unparalleled portrait, Donald K. Swearer s Buddhist World of Southeast Asia has been a key source for all those interested in the Theravada homelands since the work s publication in 1995. Expanded and updated, the second edition offers this wide ranging account for readers at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Swearer shows Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia to be a dynamic, complex system of thought and practice embedded in the cultures, societies, and histories of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. The work focuses on three distinct yet interrelated aspects of this milieu. The first is the popular tradition of life models personified in myths and legends, rites of passage, festival celebrations, and ritual occasions. The second deals with Buddhism and the state, illustrating how King Asoka serves as the paradigmatic Buddhist monarch, discussing the relationship of cosmology and kingship, and detailing the rise of charismatic Buddhist political leaders in the postcolonial period. The third is the modern transformation of Buddhism: the changing roles of monks and laity, modern reform movements, the role of women, and Buddhism in the West."

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Author information

Donald K. Swearer is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Harvard Divinity School. He is the author or editor of several books, including Becoming the Buddha: The Ritual of Image Consecration in Thailand.