By Ian Harris
Traditionally, Buddhism has prospered in societies geared up according to the socio-political teachings of the Buddha. the 20 th century has been a very tense time in Buddhism's background, now not least simply because conventional polities were eroded. Disparate components, similar to conflict, modernity, westernization, nationalization, capitalism, communism and ethnic clash, have made their presence felt within the religion's Asian heartlands. during this research a group of foreign students investigate the style within which Buddhist enterprises and contributors have resisted, come to phrases with, or at times allied themselves with those forces. It has develop into popular for Westerners to view Buddhism as an otherworldly and introspective faith. by means of analyzing concerns similar to left-right divisions within the monastic order, the increase of equipped lay hobbies, Buddhist social activism, in addition to explicitly Buddhist encouraged political task, this booklet demonstrates that the emphasis on meditation and psychological education is just one strand during this richly complicated, world-historical faith.
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Extra resources for Buddhism and Politics in 20th Century Asia
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However, when there has been protest against the suffocating political conditions so long endured, Buddhism - its clergy, its lay devotees, its very symbolism as the acme of Burmese culture and even national identity - has often had a role to play. As the millennium arrives, Buddhism is one of the key elements that might be counted on to enable Burma to achieve a democratic polity and renewed sense of destiny. It is an active participant, however obliquely, in a great struggle for power in Burma between the military and the supporters of democracy.