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A firsthand look at the Thai Buddhist environmental movement and its activist monks. Thai Buddhist monks wrap orange clerical robes around trees to protect forests. “Ordaining” a tree is a provocative ritual that has become the symbol of a small but influential monastic movement aimed at reversing environmental degradation and the unsustainable economic development and consumerism that fuel it. This book examines the evolution of this movement from the late 1980s to the present, exploring the tree ordination and other rituals used to resist destructive national projects. Susan M. Darlington explores monks’ motivations, showing how they interpret their lived religion as the basis of their actions, and provides an in-depth portrait of activist monk Phrakhru Pitak Nanthakhun. The obstacles monks face, including damage to their reputations, arrest, and even assassination, reveal the difficulty of enacting social justice. Even the tree ordination itself must now withstand its appropriation for state projects. Despite this, monks have gone from individual action to a loosely allied movement that now works with nongovernmental organizations. This is a fascinating, firsthand account of engaged Buddhism.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece
  2. pp. iii-v
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xv
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  1. Note on Language and Names
  2. p. xvii
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  1. 1. The Framework
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. 2. The Forest, The Village, and The Ecology Monk
  2. pp. 29-51
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  1. 3. The Rituals
  2. pp. 53-91
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  1. 4. The Precedents
  2. pp. 93-132
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  1. 5. The Grassroots
  2. pp. 133-165
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  1. 6. The Movement
  2. pp. 167-196
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  1. 7. The Challenges
  2. pp. 197-228
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  1. 8. The Future
  2. pp. 229-247
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  1. Images
  2. pp. 268-283
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 249-266
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  1. References
  2. pp. 267-283
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 285-302
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  1. Back Cover
  2. p. 338
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781438444666
Related ISBN(s)
9781438444659
MARC Record
OCLC
822227308
Pages
336
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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