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Why Thai Samgha Never Develops Religious-nationalism and Fundamentalism to its Full-blown? Case Studies on Two Episodes



Parallel abstracts

Loas, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka at Southeast Asia are Buddhist countries of Theravada tradition. All of them, except Thailand, had been colonized at the turn of 19^(th) to 20^(th) centuries. The Theravada samghas of these countries had developed various forms of religious-nationalist and fundamentalist movements, among which Sri Lanka and Burma were the worst cases. Both of them seriously threatened social stability. The purpose of this article is to investigate why Thai Samgha had not developed religious-nationalism and fundamentalism to its full-blown. Thailand is the major example that the analysis is taken for reference. Other examples will also be briefly discussed under the condition that it can inspire our understanding of the Thai case. The article is composed of four sections. The first section consists of an introduction and definitions for the key concepts applied in this article. The second section discusses the relationship among the reformations of political administration, rice-planting policy and samgha system during Rama V's period. The third section is on various types of Buddhist religious-social practice in the 60-80's. The last section is a comprehensive analysis of the reason why modern Thai Samgha does cases examined in the previous sections.