New Buddhist Movements in Thailand

Towards an Understanding of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke

By Rory Mackenzie

© 2007 – Routledge

272 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415650410
pub: 2012-09-13
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780415408691
pub: 2006-12-18
US Dollars$158.00

About the Book

Vastly different in belief and practice, two new Buddhist religious movements in Thailand, namely the Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke emerged in Thailand in the 1970s at a time of political uncertainty, social change and increasing dissatisfaction with the Thai Sangha and its leadership.

Examining these movements, which represent two distinctive trends within contemporary Buddhism in Thailand, this book explains why they have come into being, what they have reacted against and what they offer to their members. Both movements have a wide membership outside of Thailand, with temples in the UK, Europe, USA, Japan and Australia. New Buddhist Movements in Thailand will appeal to those interested in Buddhism's confrontation with modernity, and its responses to evolving social issues in Thailand, as well as to those interested in new religions in the broader context of religious studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Setting the Scene: The Religious and Socio-Political Context of the Development of the Two Movements 2. The Inception and Development of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Movement 3. An Analysis of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Movement 4. The Approach of Wat Phra Dhammakaya to Spiritual Development 5. The History of the Santi Asike Movement and a Description of its Various Communities 6. The Distinctives of Santi Asoke and an Analysis of the Movement 7. The Approach of Santi Asoke to Spiritual Purification. Conclusion. Appendix 1: Research Methodology. Appendix 2: Analysis of the Santi Asoke Questionnaire

About the Author

Rory Mackenzie teaches Buddhism and Practical Theology at the International Christian College, Glasgow. He has lived in Thailand for eleven years, is involved in the Thai community in Edinburgh and makes regular visits back to Thailand.

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:
RELIGION / Buddhism / General (see also PHILOSOPHY / Buddhist)
RELIGION / Buddhism / Rituals & Practice
RELIGION / Meditations
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion