Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka
Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1990 - Buddhism - 484 pages
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.
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Amma Anagarika Anagarika Dharmapala Ananda Maitreya Ariyaratna become bhakti bo tree Bodhi puja Brahman Buddha Buddhist monks century ceremony Ceylon Chapter Christian clients Colombo cult group culture deity demon devata devotion Dhamma Dharmapala dhist divine doctrine Dutugamunu educated eight precepts English Enlightenment exorcists firewalking goddess gods Hindu Huniyam influence Jayanta Jayasuriya Kali Kanduboda Kandy Kandyan kapurdla Kataragama king Kiri Vehera laity living magic Maha Mahasena main shrine Maniyo marriage meditation modern monastic monks moral mother movement Murukan Mutukuda myth Navala nirvana nuns Obeyesekere one's Pali Pattini Perera person popular poruva possessed practice preach precepts priest priestesses Protestant Buddhism pujd religious ritual role Sami Sangha Sanskrit Sarvodaya sdmi Sinhala Buddhist Skanda social society sorcery South India spirit religion Sri Lanka Tamil temple ten precepts term texts Theravada tion told traditionally trance urban Uttama Sadhu Valli Venerable verses Vijeyaratna village Visnu wife women worldly worship