The Buddha’s Precepts on Respecting Other Races and Religions?: Thinking about the Relationship of Ethnicity and Theravada Buddhism
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 29, Number 3, November 2014
- pp. 591-626
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Theravada Buddhism is often practised in contexts of significant ethnic diversity in Southeast Asia, but much scholarship has not sufficiently accounted for the role of this diversity in shaping the imagination of Theravada Buddhism among its practitioners in the region. Examination of Theravada Buddhist communities in the three very different contexts of Singapore, Southwest China and Thailand serves as the basis for consideration of this role. Despite the differences among these settings, Theravada Buddhism in each is shaped by state discourses on race and religion. The ways in which Theravada Buddhism and ethnicity in both local and state forms mark each other merits more attention.