Theravada Buddhism (theravada + buddhism)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Global Religious Transformations, Political Vision and Christian Witness,

Vinoth Ramachandra
From the nineteenth-century onwards religion has been, and continues to be, an important resource for nationalist, modernizing movements. What was true of Protestant Christianity in the world of Victorian Britain also holds for the nationalist transformations of Hindu Neo-Vedanta, Theravada Buddhism, Shintoism and Shi'ite Islam in the non-Western world. Globalizing practises both corrode inherited cultural and personal identities and, at the same time, stimulate the revitalisation of particular identities as a way of gaining more influence in the new global order. However, it would be a gross distortion to identify the global transformations of Islam, and indeed of other world religions, with their more violent and fanatical forms. The globalization of local conflicts serves powerful propaganda purposes on all sides. If global Christian witness in the political arena is to carry integrity, this essay argues for the following responses, wherever we may happen to live: (a) Learning the history behind the stories of ,religious violence' reported in the secular media; (b) Identifying and building relationships with the more self-critical voices within the other religious traditions and communities, so avoiding simplistic generalizations and stereotyping of others; (c) Actively engaging in the political quest for truly participatory democracies that honour cultural and religious differences. In a hegemonic secular culture, as in the liberal democracies of the West, authentic cross-cultural engagement is circumvented. There is a militant secularist ,orthodoxy' that is as destructive of authentic pluralism as its fundamentalist religious counterpart. The credibility of the global Church will depend on whether Christians can resist the totalising identities imposed on them by their nation-states and/or their ethnic communities, and grasp that their primary allegiance is to Jesus Christ and his universal reign. [source]

Local and Translocal in the Study of Theravada Buddhism and Modernity

Erik Braun
This essay traces the development of scholarly thinking about the relationship between local and translocal forms of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia, particularly in regard to modernity. The first part of the article shows that scholars have moved well away from a view of the canonical Buddhist texts as the original and most authentic core of Theravada, emphasizing instead local settings as the sites for the production of Buddhist values, practices, and texts. The article then considers how this turn to the local is affecting understandings of Buddhist modernity in Southeast Asia. It suggests that recent work on modern Theravada Buddhism at the local level is pushing scholars toward a more atomized view of Buddhist modernities. In this view, local Buddhisms play a part at least as important as that of the global forces of modernization (usually seen as originating in the West). [source]