By Rachelle M. Scott
Explores the dating among fabric prosperity and spirituality in modern Thai Buddhism.
What is the right kind dating among faith and prosperity? Rachelle M. Scott appears at this factor in a Thai Buddhist context, asking whilst the connection among Buddhist piety and wealth is considered in favorable phrases and while it really is considered when it comes to clash and rigidity. Scott specializes in the Dhammakāya Temple, a company that has put conventional Theravāda practices, similar to meditation and merit-making, inside a modernist framework that encourages own and social prosperity. The Temple’s development of a major spiritual monument within the past due Nineteen Nineties embodied this message, but in addition sparked feedback of the Temple’s wealth and fund-raising ideas and engendered debates over genuine Buddhism and non secular authority. Scott situates this controversy in the context of postmodern Thailand and the Asian monetary predicament while reevaluations of wealth, international capitalism, and “Asian values” occupied a preeminent position in Thai public discourse.
“...impressive … that includes transparent, available prose and an admirable cognizance to aspect all through, this is often a very good book.” — Journal of Buddhist Ethics
“There are many laudable characteristics of Scott’s paintings … this booklet is obvious, good geared up, and obtainable to either scholars and students … Scott has made a nice contribution to the research of prosperity religions, in addition to the fields of Thai stories and Buddhist studies.” — H-Net Reviews
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Additional resources for Nirvana for Sale?: Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakaya Temple in Contemporary Thailand
Thus, the stories of generous kings in the South and Southeast Asian chronicles are not merely statements on royal piety and patronage, they are also stories about the fate of the san˙gha, whose very existence is intimately connected to the rise and fall of powerful kingdoms. Buddhist history is peppered with stories of how the san˙gha declined in its purity as a result of the lack of economic and political prosperity. One example is the fate of the Thai san˙gha following the destruction of Ayutthaya by Burmese forces in the eighteenth century.
John Kieschnick provides a description of some of the criticisms leveled against world-engaged monks in medieval China: The contrast between the austere ideal of the monk and the material success of Buddhist monasteries was not lost on Buddhism’s critics. A fifth-century monk-turned-critic questioned his former brethren, asking, “Why is it that their ideals are [so] noble and farreaching and their activities still are [so] base and common? . ” For “the teaching bequeathed by the Buddha called on his followers not to cultivate the fields and not to store up wealth or grain, but to beg for their food or clothing, and to practice the dhutangas.
27 Sri Dao Ruang succeeds in linking this gendered subtext to the story of Prince Vessantara. Matsii’s act of renunciation raises questions about the social implications of renunciation (for both men and women) and highlights the culturally and historically contingent character of Buddhist ideas about renunciation as a religious practice. Buddhist renunciation, therefore, must be viewed historically. In the Pāli canon, Buddhist forms of renunciation are contrasted with the practices of other competing groups in order to demonstrate the superiority of the Buddhist path; here, Buddhist renunciation entails the rejection of both Brahmanical wealth 28 Nirvana for Sale?
Nirvana for Sale?: Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakaya Temple in Contemporary Thailand by Rachelle M. Scott