In this Book

Buddha in Sri Lanka
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summary
This book provides both an erudite and intimate look at how Buddhism is lived in Sri Lanka. While India is known as the birthplace of Buddhism, Sri Lanka is its other home; Buddhism extends back over twenty-five hundred years on the island and remains at the center of its spiritual traditions and culture. Throughout the book, author Swarna Wickremeratne incorporates a personal view, sharing stories of herself, her family, friends, and acquaintances as they “lived Buddhism” both during her Sri Lankan girlhood and during more recent times. This personal view makes the traditions come alive as Wickremeratne details Buddhist beliefs, customs, rituals and ceremonies, and folklore. She also provides a fascinating discussion of the Sangha, the institutional monkhood in Sri Lanka, including its history, codes of conduct, and evolution and resilience over time. Wickremeratne explores the recent attempts by many monks to reinvent themselves in a society characterized by secularization, globalization, and a tide of aggressive Christian evangelization.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Title, Copyright and Dedication Pages
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Terminology and Related Concepts
  2. p. xv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Map
  2. p. xix
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  1. 1. Beginnings and Looking Beyond
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 2. Growing Up in Sri Lankan Culture
  2. pp. 11-30
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  1. 3. Festival of New Beginnings: The New Year
  2. pp. 31-40
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  1. 4. Loving Worship and Loving Kindness
  2. pp. 41-54
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  1. 5. Givers: Many Motives, Many Fruits
  2. pp. 55-73
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  1. 6. Sri Lankan Buddhists and Their Rituals
  2. pp. 75-88
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  1. 7. Reminiscences of Bana Preaching
  2. pp. 89-99
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  1. 8. Buddhist Pilgrims’ Progress
  2. pp. 101-111
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  1. 9. Karma in Popular Buddhist Culture
  2. pp. 113-124
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  1. 10. To Die Only to Be Reborn
  2. pp. 125-139
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  1. 11. Death: Buddhist Ways and Other Ways
  2. pp. 141-156
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  1. 12. Bodhi Puja: All for the Sake of a Tree
  2. pp. 157-166
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  1. 13. Pirit Chanting and the Holy Thread
  2. pp. 167-177
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  1. 14. Sons of the Buddha
  2. pp. 179-197
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  1. 15. Varieties in a Single Saffron Robe
  2. pp. 199-219
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  1. 16. Quid Pro Quo Worship
  2. pp. 221-235
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  1. 17. Many Gods, Many Altars
  2. pp. 237-258
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  1. 18. God Kataragama
  2. pp. 259-271
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 273-274
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  1. Glossary of Religious Terms
  2. pp. 275-279
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 281-283
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-297
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