By Hiroko Kawanami
In its interpretation of Buddhism either as a cultural historical past and social ideology, this edited quantity seeks to appreciate how Buddhist values and global perspectives have impacted at the political strategy of many nations in Asia. of their respective paintings in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Tibet, the participants interact with an interactive typology initially proposed via the overdue Ian Harris, to whom the booklet is devoted. Adopting an interdisciplinary technique, they discover the interplay among Buddhism and politics, spiritual authority and political energy, contemplating concerns that drawback the politicization of clergymen, proliferation of violence, management, citizenship, democracy and communalism which will extra comprehend the interface among Buddhism and politics in sleek and modern instances.
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Extra info for Buddhism and the Political Process
154. ‘Tai’ refers to an ethnolinguistic community that is spread throughout the nation-states of mainland Southeast Asia, into China and Assam in northeast India. Many Tai groups, including the Thai (from which the name ‘Thailand’ comes), the Lao, the Shan of northeast Myanmar and the Dai-lue of Yunnan, share a language family, the practice of Therav¯ada Buddhism and other cultural forms, but there is not a strong sense of pan-Tai unity. Borchert, Educating Monks, chapter 6. Bloemraad, Korteweg, and Yurdakul, ‘Citizenship and Immigration,’ p.
35 Perhaps unsurprisingly then, in my conversations with Chinese Buddhist monks, I have found that they articulate no contradiction and no conﬂict between being Buddhist monks and Chinese citizens (gongmin). Chinese monks in Shanghai and Kunming (2011) and those studying in Singapore (2010), all told me that their status in society is Thomas Borchert 25 the same, regardless of whether they are monastic citizens or lay citizens. They cannot vote, and they cannot easily or openly express political opinions, but neither can anyone else outside of the Communist Party.
In China, the religious status does not normally shape one’s political status. Indeed, despite the fact that the Chinese state regulates religions in particular ways, it is in some sense ‘blind’ to the fact that the monks are Buddhist as opposed to Christian or Daoist. In Thailand, on the other hand, while Buddhism is not a constitutionally mandated religion in Thailand, it does have a special place in Thai society. This 26 On Being a Monk and a Citizen in Thailand and China specialness, according to many Thais, means that it is also in some ways outside of society, and thus outside of politics (even though in other ways it is not).
Buddhism and the Political Process by Hiroko Kawanami