Afterword

So What Is the Anthropology of Buddhism About?

in Religion and Society
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Oxford david.gellner@anthro.ox.ac.uk
Restricted access

ABSTRACT

This afterword considers the history of the subfield of the anthropology of Buddhism in light of the essays in this special section of Religion and Society. Anthropologists have sought to combat conventional assumptions about Buddhism and have long made contributions to the study of Buddhism, the state, nationalism, and politics. As part of a maturing field, they have also made contributions through the study of Buddhism to many other subfields of anthropology, including morality, spirit possession, the emotions, and materiality. It is no longer necessary for the anthropology of Buddhism to be overwhelmingly concerned with the authenticity and identity of its subjects.

Contributor Notes

DAVID N. GELLNER is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Oxford. His research interests include the anthropology of South Asia, Buddhism and Hinduism, urbanism, ritual and symbolism, and politics, ethnicity, and activism. He is the author of The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hinduism: Weberian Themes (2001), co-author of Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal (2005), and co-editor of Religion, Secularism, and Ethnicity in Contemporary Nepal (2016). E-mail: david.gellner@anthro.ox.ac.uk

Religion and Society

Advances in Research

  • Carrithers, Michael. 1990. “Jainism and Buddhism as Enduring Historical Streams.” Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 21 (2): 141163.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, Joanna. 2010. Meditation in Modern Buddhism: Renunciation and Change in Thai Monastic Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Frydenlund, Iselin. 2017. “‘Buddhism Has Made Asia Mild’: The Modernist Construction of Buddhism as Pacifism.” In Buddhist Modernities: Re-Inventing Tradition in the Globalizing Modern World, ed. Hanna Havnevik, Ute Hüsken, Mark Teeuwen, Vladimir Tikhonov, and Koen Wellens, 204221. New York: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gellner, David N. 1990. “Introduction: What Is the Anthropology of Buddhism About?Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 21 (2): 95112.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gellner, David N. 2001. The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hinduism: Weberian Themes. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

  • Gellner, David N. 2009. “The Awkward Social Science? Anthropology on Schools, Elections, and Revolution in Nepal.” JASO-online 1 (2): 115140.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gellner, David N. Forthcoming. “Living with Polytropy and Hierarchy: The Anthropology of Hinduism.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Anthropology of Religion, ed. Simon Coleman and Joel Robbins. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gombrich, Richard F. 1971. Precept and Practice: Traditional Buddhism in the Rural Highlands of Ceylon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Reissued in 1991 as Buddhist Precept and Practice. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hann, Chris. 2007. “The Anthropology of Christianity per se.” Archives Européennes de Sociologie 48 (3): 391418.

  • Harris, Ian. 2016. “Introduction to Buddhism and the Political Process: Patterns of Interaction.” In Kawanami 2016, 110.

    • Export Citation
  • Hastings, Adrian. 1997. The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Jerryson, Michael K., and Mark Juergensmeyer, eds. 2010. Buddhist Warfare. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Kawanami, Hiroko, ed. 2016. Buddhism and the Political Process. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Kemper, Steven. 1991. The Presence of the Past: Chronicles, Politics, and Culture in Sinhalese Life. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeVine, Sarah, and David N. Gellner. 2005. Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lewis, Todd. 2014. “Introduction.” In Buddhists: Understanding Buddhism Through the Lives of Practitioners, ed. Todd Lewis, 110. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Madsen, Richard. 2007. Democracy’s Dharma: Religious Renaissance and Political Development in Taiwan. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McDaniel, Justin T. 2011. The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Mills, Martin A. 2003. Identity, Ritual and State in Tibetan Buddhism: The Foundations of Authority in Gelukpa Monasticism. London: RoutledgeCurzon.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moran, Peter. 2004. Buddhism Observed: Travelers, Exiles and Tibetan Dharma in Kathmandu. London: RoutledgeCurzon.

  • Raghavan, Suren. 2016. Buddhism Monks and the Politics of Lanka’s Civil War: Ethnoreligious Nationalism of the Sinhala Sangha and Peacemaking in Sri Lanka, 1995–2010. Sheffield: Equinox.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reader, Ian, and George J. Tanabe, Jr. 1998. Practically Religious: Worldly Benefits and the Common Religion of Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robbins, Joel. 2007. “Continuity Thinking and the Problem of Christian Culture: Belief, Time, and the Anthropology of Christianity.” Current Anthropology 48 (1): 538.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robbins, Joel. 2014. “The Anthropology of Christianity: Unity, Diversity, New Directions.” Current Anthropology 55 (S10): S157S171.

  • Schober, Juliane, and Steven Collins. 2012. “The Theravāda Civilizations Project: Future Directions in the Study of Buddhism in Southeast Asia.” Contemporary Buddhism: An Interdisciplinary Journal 13 (1): 157166.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seneviratne, H. L. 1999. The Work of Kings: The New Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Skilling, Peter, Jason A. Carbine, Claudio Cicuzza, and Santi Pakdeekham, eds. 2012. How Theravāda Is Theravāda? Exploring Buddhist Identities. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Southwold, Martin. 1983. Buddhism in Life: The Anthropological Study of Religion and the Sinhalese Practice of Buddhism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spiro, Melford E. 1970. Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Stepan, Alfred. 2014. “The Theravada Buddhist Puzzle: Why Inclusionary Founding Doctrines and Exclusionary Contemporary Politics?” Rajni Kothari Lecture, CSDS, Delhi. http://www.csds.in/events/alfred-stepan-theravada-buddhist-puzzle.

    • Export Citation
  • Tambiah, S. J. 1970. Buddhism and the Spirit Cults in Northeast Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Tikhonov, Vladimir, and Torkel Brekke, eds. 2013. Buddhism and Violence: Militarism and Buddhism in Modern Asia. New York: Routledge.

  • Victoria, Brian D. 2010. “A Buddhological Critique of ‘Soldier-Zen’ in Wartime Japan.” In Jerryson and Juergensmeyer 2010, 105130.

    • Export Citation
  • Walton, Matthew J. 2016. Buddhism, Politics and Political Thought in Myanmar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 54 54 9
Full Text Views 14 14 1
PDF Downloads 13 13 0