Science and Development in Thai and South Asian Buddhism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Science and Development in Thai and South Asian Buddhism

1st Edition

By David L Gosling


336 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367145859
pub: 2019-12-19
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Becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand has for a long time provided the opportunity for access to a good education and to social advancement, both to bright, poor rural youths and to members of the urban elite whose youth often become monks for a few months as a rite of passage into adulthood. Moreover, although women are not allowed to become fully-fledged monks, recent developments have encouraged a special status akin to nuns for many devout Thai Buddhist women. All this has resulted in large numbers of well-educated, well-motivated Buddhist religious people, keen both to engage in religious contemplation and also determined to contribute to this-worldly social, economic, educational and medical development goals. This book, by a leading authority on the subject, considers the role of Thai Buddhist religious people in development within Thailand. It discusses how Thai Buddhism has evolved theologically and in its organisation to allow this, examines various examples of Buddhist people's engagement in development projects, and assesses how the situation is likely to unfold going forward. In addition, the book considers the relationship between science and religion in Thai Buddhism and also some aspects of the parallel situation in Sri Lanka.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction; Section A: Buddhism in transition; 2 Thai Buddhism in Transition; 3 New Directions in Thai Buddhism; 4 Visions of Salvation: a Thai Buddhist Experience of Ecumenism; 5 The Changing Roles of Thailand's Lay Nuns (mae chii); Section B: Monastic Development Activities; 6 Thai Monks in Rural Development; 7 Biogas for Thailand’s Rural Development: Transferring the Technology; 8 Urban Thai Buddhist Attitudes to Development; 9 Redefining the Sangha’s Role in Northern Thailand: An Investigation of Monastic Careers at Five Chiang Mai Wats; 10 Buddhism for Peace; 10 Section C: Aspects of Development and Science; 11 Thailand's Bare-headed Doctors; 12 Thailand’s Bare-headed Doctors: Thai Monks in Rural Healthcare; 13 Thai monks and lay nuns (mae chii) in urban health care; 14 The Scientific and Religious Beliefs of Thai Scientists and Their Inter-relationship; 15 Embodiment and Rebirth in the Buddhist and Hindu Traditions

About the Author

David L. Gosling is a Life Member and former Spalding Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. A Chartered Physicist, he was Director of Church and Society at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and has published extensively on the interface between science and religion in Asia. He is the author of Religion and Ecology in India and Southeast Asia and Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein met Tagore (both Routledge).

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Southeast Asia.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies