Buddhism, Conflict and Violence in Modern Sri Lanka: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Buddhism, Conflict and Violence in Modern Sri Lanka

1st Edition

Edited by Mahinda Deegalle


280 pages

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Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book explores the dilemmas that Buddhism faces in relation to the continuing ethnic conflict and violence in modern Sri Lanka. Prominent scholars in the fields of anthropology, history, Buddhist studies and Pali examine multiple dimensions of the problem. Buddhist responses to the crisis are discussed in detail, along with how Buddhism can help to create peace in Sri Lanka. Evaluating the role of Buddhists and their institutions in bringing about an end to war and violence as well as possibly heightening the problem, this collection puts forward a critical analysis of the religious conditions contributing to continuing hostilities.


"I have no hesitation in recommending this volume as a serious contribution to the understanding of one of the most complex and intractable conflicts in the world."-- Elizabeth J. Harris, Religions of South Asia, Volume 1 Issue 1, 2007

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Mahinda Deegalle 2. Is the Sri Lankan War a Buddhist Fundamentalism? Richard Gombrich 3. Hindu Influences on Medieval Sri Lankan Buddhist Culture John C. Holt 4. The Theravada Analysis of Conflicts Mahinda Palihawadana 5. A 'Righteous War' in Buddhism? P.D. Premasiri 6. Semantic Transformations of Dhammadipa Peter Schalk 7. Sinhala Fears of Tamil Demands Alvappillai Veluppillai 8. Historiography in Conflict and Violence Ananda Wickremeratne 9. Buddhism, Ethnicity and Identity: A Problem in Buddhist History Gananath Obeyesekere 10. Identity Issues of Sinhalas and Tamils Bardwell Smith 11. Roots of the Conflict and the Peace Process R.A.L.H. Gunawardana 12. Buddhist Monks and Peace in Sri Lanka Chandra R. De Silva 13. The Role of Buddhist Monks in Resolving the Conflict Asanga Tilakaratne 14. Sarvodaya's Pursuit of Peace George Bond 15. JHU Politics for Peace and a Righteous State Mahinda Deegalle Bibliography Index

About the Editor

Dr Mahinda Deegalle is Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions at Bath Spa University. His research interests are Buddhist Preaching, Mahayana Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Violence and Peacebuilding. He is the co-editor of Pali Buddhism (Curzon, 1996), and is currently researching on Buddhist monks’ involvement in Parliamentary Politics.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series explores this complex and extensive tradition from a variety of perspectives, using a range of different methodologies. The series is diverse in its focus, including historical, philological, cultural, and sociological investigations into the manifold features and expressions of Buddhism worldwide. It also presents works of constructive and reflective analysis, including the role of Buddhist thought and scholarship in a contemporary, critical context and in the light of current social issues. The series is expansive and imaginative in scope, spanning more than two and a half millennia of Buddhist history. It is receptive to all research works that are of significance and interest to the broader field of Buddhist Studies.

Some of the titles in the series are published in association with the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, which conducts and promotes rigorous teaching and research into all forms of the Buddhist tradition.

Editorial Advisory Board:
James A. Benn, McMaster University, Canada

Jinhua Chen, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Rupert Gethin, University of Bristol, UK

Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland, UK

Sallie King, James Madison University, USA

Anne Klein, Rice University, USA

Lori Meeks, University of Southern California, USA;

Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

John Powers, Australian National University, Australia;

Juliane Schober, Arizona State University, USA

Vesna A. Wallace, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Michael Zimmermann, University of Hamburg, Germany

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General