Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka

Front Cover
Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1988 - Buddhism - 484 pages
0 Reviews
In this study a social and cultural anthropologist and a specialist in the study of religion pool their talents to examine recent changes in popular religion in Sri Lanka. As the Sinhalas themselves perceive it, Buddhism proper has always shared the religious arena with a spirit religion. While Buddhism concerns salvation, the spirit of religion focuses on worldly welfare. Buddhism Transformed describes and analyzes the changes that have profoundly altered the character of Sinhala religion in both areas. This is the first book to record systematically the cultural impact of the deterioration in how the other half lives in Sri Lanka. After Sri Lankan independence in 1948, health care advanced and literacy became universal, but the economy was unable to meet the rising expectations of the exploding population. People became poorer and more mobile, and the village community began to disappear. As new stresses in Sri Lankan society create new psychological needs, changes have occurred in what the authors call Protestant Buddhism (the Buddhism formed under Protestant influence after British conquest). In the spirit cults, morally less scrupulous gods have become prominent, and more people seek and value altered states of consciousness. Finally the authors suggest that developments that seem startling in Sri Lanka are not unprecedented in the religious history of India.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Cult Groups of
67
Social Change and the Deities
96
Kali the Punitive Mother
133
Kataragama a Center of HinduBuddhist Syncretism
163
Protestant Buddhism
202
The Creation of Tradition
241
The Contemporary Resurgence of Nuns
274
Appendix
297
Theosophy
299
Three Buddhist Leaders
314
The Bod hi Pfija
384
Sinhala Fireualkers and the Buddhist Appropriation
411
Conclusion
445
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information