Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand

Peter A. Jackson

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  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2003
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 392 pp., glossary, notes, bibliog., index, 5.50 x 8.50 in.
  • Territorial rights: Not Available In Thailand
  • Distributed for: Silkworm Books
  • Contents

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-1993) is widely regarded as modern Thailand's most influential Buddhist philosopher. His thought had a profound intellectual impact in Thailand in the second half of the twentieth century. His life mission was to undertake a complete reexamination of Theravada Buddhist teachings. By returning to the Buddha's original teachings in the Suttapitaka and by drawing on aspects of Zen Buddhism, Buddhadasa crafted a vision of Thai Buddhism as a socially, politically, and intellectually progressive force. This vision of a modern Theravada Buddhism fit for a modern, democratic, and socially just Thailand continues to inspire large numbers of Thai people in the twenty-first century.

In this book Peter Jackson examines Buddhadasa's life work and thought, placing them in the context of the political, economic, and intellectual changes that transformed Thailand in the twentieth century. Combining biographical studies with critical philosophical and sociological analyses of Buddhadasa's reforms of Thai Buddhist teachings, Peter Jackson emphasizes the path-breaking and often radical ideas of one of the greatest Buddhist thinkers of the last century. This book is a revised and expanded edition of Peter Jackson's Buddhadasa: A Buddhist Thinker for the Modern World, published in 1988. It contains a new epilogue tracing the controversy surrounding Buddhadasa's death in 1993 and reflecting on the philosopher-monk's lasting legacy in Thailand.
Foreword to the First Edition
Note on Transliteration and Referencing
The Social and Theoretical Contexts of Buddhadasa's Work
The Sources of Buddhadasa's Innovative Views
Phasa Khon-Phasa Tham: Buddhadasa's method of Scriptural Interpretation
Buddhadasa on Rebirth and Paticcasamuppada
Chit Wang and the Abolition of the Monk-Lay Distinction
The Practice of Chit Wang
Chit Wang and Zen
Buddhadasa on Modernization and Development
Buddhadasa's Political Writings
Conclusion: Buddhadasa Bhikkhu - Theravada Buddhism's Conservative Radical
Epilogue: Buddhadasa Bhikkhu - His Last Days and His Legacy
Appendix: The History and Teachings of Theravada Buddhism
Glossary of Thai and Pali Terms
Bibliography of English Language Texts
Bibliography of Thai Language Texts