Buddhism Politics And Political Thought In Myanmar

Author: Matthew J. Walton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316861937
Size: 57.64 MB
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Buddhism Politics And Political Thought In Myanmar from the Author: Matthew J. Walton. This is the first book to provide a broad overview of the ways in which Buddhist ideas have influenced political thinking and politics in Myanmar. Matthew Walton draws extensively on Burmese language sources from the last 150 years to describe the 'moral universe' of contemporary Theravada Buddhism that has anchored most political thought in Myanmar. In explaining multiple Burmese understandings of notions such as 'democracy' and 'political participation', the book provides readers with a conceptual framework for understanding some of the key dynamics of Myanmar's ongoing political transition. Some of these ideas help to shed light on restrictive or exclusionary political impulses, such as anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalism or scepticism towards the ability of the masses to participate in politics. Walton provides an analytical framework for understanding Buddhist influences on politics that will be accessible to a wide range of readers and will generate future research and debate.

Buddhism And Political Theory

Author: Matthew J. Moore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019063152X
Size: 13.15 MB
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Buddhism And Political Theory from the Author: Matthew J. Moore. Despite the recent upsurge of interest in comparative political theory, there has been virtually no serious examination of Buddhism by political philosophers in the past five decades. In part, this is because Buddhism is not typically seen as a school of political thought. However, as Matthew Moore argues, Buddhism simultaneously parallels and challenges many core assumptions and arguments in contemporary Western political theory. In brief, Western thinkers not only have a great deal to learn about Buddhism, they have a great deal to learn from it. To both incite and facilitate the process of Western theorists engaging with this neglected tradition, this book provides a detailed, critical reading of the key primary Buddhist texts, from the earliest recorded teachings of the Buddha through the present day. It also discusses the relevant secondary literature on Buddhism and political theory (nearly all of it from disciplines other than political theory), as well as the literatures on particular issues addressed in the argument. Moore argues that Buddhist political thought rests on three core premises--that there is no self, that politics is of very limited importance in human life, and that normative beliefs and judgments represent practical advice about how to live a certain way, rather than being obligatory commands about how all persons must act. He compares Buddhist political theory to what he sees as Western analogues--Nietzsche's similar but crucially different theory of the self, Western theories of limited citizenship from Epicurus to John Howard Yoder, and to the Western tradition of immanence theories in ethics. This will be the first comprehensive treatment of Buddhism as political theory.

Politics In The Moral Universe

Author: Matthew J. Walton
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 28.14 MB
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Politics In The Moral Universe from the Author: Matthew J. Walton. This dissertation is a work of comparative political theory that draws attention to how religious beliefs can generate fundamentally different conceptions of what is political. I argue that Theravada Buddhism is the source of the conceptual framework within which most Buddhists in Myanmar think about politics. Specifically, being embedded in the Theravada moral conception of the universe, Burmese Buddhists understand the political as a sphere of moral action, governed by particular rules of cause and effect. Within this framework Burmese Buddhists vary as to their interpretation of particular concepts and the degree to which they see Buddhist teachings as relevant to politics; however, I demonstrate that this framework and Buddhist conceptions of politics continue to be salient for contemporary political practice in Myanmar. There are also variations between Theravada Buddhism as it is practiced in Myanmar and in other countries, as well as important differences in interpretation and emphasis among Burmese Buddhists themselves. I examine these variations while also comparing Burmese Buddhist political thought with other religious and cultural traditions. Buddhism in Myanmar has provided a repertoire of "raw materials" which people have used to make sense of their political environment. These include a particular conception of human nature, an understanding of the universe as governed by a law of cause and effect that works according to moral principles, a conception of human existence as fundamentally dissatisfactory, and the acceptance of a range of methods to overcome and escape its dissatisfactory character. I explore how Burmese Buddhists have used these ideas in deploying arguments regarding the nature of politics, the proper ends of politics, alternative conceptions and methods of political participation, and a range of understandings of "democracy." My findings not only illuminate a relatively unexamined tradition of political thought, they also help us to understand some of the challenges facing a democratic transition in contemporary Myanmar.

Buddhism Politics And The Limits Of Law

Author: Benjamin Schonthal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316824675
Size: 37.62 MB
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Buddhism Politics And The Limits Of Law from the Author: Benjamin Schonthal. It is widely assumed that a well-designed and well-implemented constitution can help ensure religious harmony in modern states. Yet how correct is this assumption? Drawing on groundbreaking research from Sri Lanka, this book argues persuasively for another possibility: when it comes to religion, relying on constitutional law may not be helpful, but harmful; constitutional practice may give way to pyrrhic constitutionalism. Written in a lucid and direct style, and aimed at both specialists and non-specialists, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law explains why constitutional law has deepened, rather than diminished, conflicts over religion in Sri Lanka. Examining the roles of Buddhist monks, civil society groups, political coalitions and more, the book provides the first extended study of the legal regulation of religion in Sri Lanka as well as the first book-length analysis of the intersections of Buddhism and contemporary constitutional law.

Mental Culture In Burmese Crisis Politics

Author: Gustaaf Houtman
Publisher: ILCAA
ISBN: 4872977483
Size: 32.55 MB
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Mental Culture In Burmese Crisis Politics from the Author: Gustaaf Houtman. An examination of the current political crisis in Burma, and in particular its Buddhist and socio-psychological aspects.

Burma S Mass Lay Meditation Movement

Author: Ingrid Jordt
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 0896802558
Size: 21.67 MB
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Burma S Mass Lay Meditation Movement from the Author: Ingrid Jordt. Burma's Mass Lay Meditation Movement: Buddhism and the Cultural Construction of Power describes a transformation in Buddhist practice in contemporary Burma. This revitalization movement has had real consequences for how the oppressive military junta, in power since the early 1960s, governs the country. Drawing on more than ten years of extensive fieldwork in Burma, Ingrid Jordt explains how vipassana meditation has brought about a change of worldview for millions of individuals, enabling them to think and act independently of the totalitarian regime. Jordt explains how the movement has been successful in its challenge to the Burmese military dictatorship where democratically inspired resistance movements have failed. Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement is a valuable contribution to Buddhist studies as well as anthropology, religious studies, and political science.

Islam And The State In Myanmar

Author: Melissa Crouch
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780199461202
Size: 50.84 MB
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Islam And The State In Myanmar from the Author: Melissa Crouch. This volume explores the relation between Islam and the state in Buddhist-majority Myanmar from both an empirical and a comparative perspective. It provides an informed response to contemporary issues facing the Muslim communities of Myanmar, furthering knowledge of the interaction between state institutions, government policies, and society past and the present. The book provides scholarly insights into the politics of belonging for Muslims in Myanmar while emphasizing the inherent diversity within and among Muslim communities. It brings together perspectives from experts of a diverse array of disciplines-religious studies, international relations, political science, history, Islamic studies, law, and anthropology. Focusing on the themes of colonialism and the state, the everyday experiences of Muslims, and the challenges of violence and security, this volume comes at a timely juncture in Myanmar's history. This book is essential reading for scholars and students studying Islam in the region.

The Political Theory Of Tyranny In Singapore And Burma

Author: Stephen McCarthy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134003331
Size: 69.49 MB
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The Political Theory Of Tyranny In Singapore And Burma from the Author: Stephen McCarthy. Covering various fields in political science, this new book presents an historical and political-cultural analysis of Buddhism and Confucianism. Using Singapore and Burma as case studies, the book questions the basic assumptions of democratization theory, examining the political science of tyranny and exploring the rhetorical manipulation of religion for the purpose of political legitimacy. A welcome addition to the political science and Asian studies literature, McCarthy addresses many of the current issues that underlie the field of democratization in comparative politics and discusses the issue of imposing Western cultural bias in studying non-Western regimes by analyzing rhetorical traits that are universally regular in politics.

Buddhism Betrayed

Author: Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226789491
Size: 44.59 MB
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Buddhism Betrayed from the Author: Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah. This volume seeks to answer the question of how the Buddhist monks in today's Sri Lanka—given Buddhism's traditionally nonviolent philosophy—are able to participate in the fierce political violence of the Sinhalese against the Tamils.

Saving Buddhism

Author: Alicia Turner
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780824839376
Size: 11.58 MB
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Saving Buddhism from the Author: Alicia Turner. Saving Buddhism explores the dissonance between the goals of the colonial state and the Buddhist worldview that animated Burmese Buddhism at the turn of the twentieth century. For many Burmese, the salient and ordering discourse was not nation or modernity but s?sana, the life of the Buddha's teachings. Burmese Buddhists interpreted the political and social changes between 1890 and 1920 as signs that the Buddha's s?sana was deteriorating. This fear of decline drove waves of activity and organizing to prevent the loss of the Buddha's teachings. Burmese set out to save Buddhism, but achieved much more: they took advantage of the indeterminacy of the moment to challenge the colonial frameworks that were beginning to shape their world. Author Alicia Turner has examined thousands of rarely used sources-- newspapers and Buddhist journals, donation lists, and colonial reports--to trace three discourses set in motion by the colonial encounter: the evolving understanding of s?sana as an orienting framework for change, the adaptive modes of identity made possible in the moral community, and the ongoing definition of religion as a site of conflict and negotiation of autonomy.Beginning from an understanding that defining and redefining the boundaries of religion operated as a key technique of colonial power--shaping subjects through European categories and authorizing projects of colonial governmentality--she explores how Burmese Buddhists became actively engaged in defining and inflecting religion to shape their colonial situation and forward their own local projects. Saving Buddhism intervenes not just in scholarly conversations about religion and colonialism, but in theoretical work in religious studies on the categories of religion and secular. It contributes to ongoing studies of colonialism, nation, and identity in Southeast Asian studies by working to denaturalize nationalist histories. It also engages conversations on millennialism and the construction of identity in Buddhist studies by tracing the fluid nature of s?sana as a discourse. The layers of Buddhist history that emerge challenge us to see multiple modes of identity in colonial modernity and offer insights into the instabilities of categories we too often take for granted.