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Saving Buddhism – The Impermanence of Religion in Colonial Burma - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Saving Buddhism: The Impermanence of Religion in Colonial Burma

Alicia Turner


This book explores the dissonance between the goals of the colonial state and the Buddhist worldview that animated Burmese Buddhism at the turn of the twentieth century. For many Burmese, the discourse was not nation or modernity but sāsana, the life of the Buddha's teachings. Burmese Buddhists interpreted the political and social changes between 1890 and 1920 as signs that the Buddha's sāsana was deteriorating. This fear of decline drove waves of activity and organizing to prevent the loss of the Buddha's teachings. Burmese set out to save Buddhism, but achieved much more: they took advantage ... More

Keywords: colonialism, Burmese Buddhism, Buddha, sāsana, Buddhism, religion, Southeast Asia, identity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780824839376
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824839376.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alicia Turner, author
York University