The Religious World of Kirti Sri

The Religious World of Kirti Sri : Buddhism, Art and Politics of Late Medieval Sri Lanka

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Description

In this interdisciplinary inquiry, John Clifford Holt seeks to uncover how Buddhism was understood and expressed during the waning years of indigenous political power in Asia's oldest continuing Buddhist culture. Holt focuses on King Kirti Sri Rajasinha and how, despite powerful and persistent Dutch colonial threats and a deeply suspicious Kandyan Buddhist Sinhalese aristocracy, he successfully revived Sinhalese Theravada Buddhism. As Holt demonstrates, Kirti Sri succeeded in formulating his vision of an orthodox Buddhism in a number of ways: through the patronage of monastic sanha and re-establishing traditional lines of ordination, translating the Pali suttas into Sinhala, sponsoring public Buddhist religious rites, and refurbishing almost all Buddhist temples in the Kandyan culture region. The ultimate aim of Holt's study is to describe and interpret Kirti Sri's articulation of a normative Buddhist world, the essentials of which remain normative for many Buddhists in the Kandyan region of Sri Lanka today. Scholars and students will find The Religious World of Kirti Sri is an indispensable resource for the understanding of orthodox Buddhism at this important historical juncture, as well as the present day.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 11.7mm | 248.82g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 8 pp colour and 32 pp black and white plates, line figures
  • 0195107578
  • 9780195107579
  • 1,141,264

Back cover copy

In this interdisciplinary inquiry, John Clifford Holt seeks to uncover how Buddhism was understood and expressed in Sri Lanka, Asia's oldest continuing Buddhist culture, during the advent of European colonialism. Holt focuses on King Kirti Sri Rajasinha, who ruled in the waning years of indigenous Sri Lankan rule, and how he successfully revived Sinhalese Theravada Buddhism despite persistent Dutch colonial threats and a deeply suspicious Kandyan Buddhist Sinhalese aristocracy.

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Review quote

This wide-ranging and beautifully produced account is fascinating and enjoyable reading...this impassioned and original study, by a mature scholar trying to make holistic sense of a troubled society he knows and loves, will be of interest to scholars and students alike. The Journal of Asian Studies

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About John Clifford Holt

John Clifford Holt is Professor of Religion at Bowdoin College, where he organized and founded the Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program. Dr. Holt has authored several books including Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka (OUP, 1991).

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