Attracting the Heart: Social Relations and the Aesthetics of Emotion in Sri Lankan Monastic Culture

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University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2010 - History - 167 pages
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An idealized view of the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk might be described according to the doctrinal demand for emotional detachment and, ultimately, the cessation of all desire. Yet monks are also enjoined to practice compassion, a powerful emotion and equally lofty ideal, and live with every other human feeling - love, hate, jealousy, ambition - as they relate to other monks and the lay community. In this important ethnography of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Jeffrey Samuels takes an unprecedented look at how emotion determines and influences the commitments that laypeople and monastics make to each other and to the Buddhist religion in general.

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About the author (2010)

Jeffrey Samuels is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Western Kentucky University.

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