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.
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
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.
"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