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Attracting the HeartSocial Relations and the Aesthetics of Emotion in Sri Lankan Monastic Culture$
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Jeffrey Samuels

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833855

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833855.001.0001

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Temple Building as Social Service

Temple Building as Social Service

Family, Community, and Emotion

(p.84) 5 Temple Building as Social Service
Attracting the Heart

Jeffrey Samuels

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter investigates the enterprise of temple building as a form of social service. Focusing on two temples that were reestablished in 2003 and 2004, it maintains that, far from being founded on a belief that any properly ordained monastic would suffice or on the laity's religious needs, temple building is driven by a desire for establishing close, affective bonds with monastics as well by the need to locate aesthetically pleasing experiences. It also argues that aesthetic sensibilities and ideas about ideal monastic deportment are the outcome of dynamic, emotional interactions that exist between monastics and laypeople. The establishment of temples and their successful running are grounded in the experiences of the temple's patrons and monastics whose own religious values and social histories continue to shape their understandings of what constitutes an ideal Buddhist monastic and temple.

Keywords:   temple building, socials service, affective bonds, monastics, lay people, Buddhist monks, Buddhism

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