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Saving BuddhismThe Impermanence of Religion in Colonial Burma$
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Alicia Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839376

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839376.001.0001

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(p.136) 6 Conclusion
Saving Buddhism

Alicia Turner

University of Hawai'i Press

This conclusion returns to the three themes explored throughout the book: the ongoing and labile tradition of sāsana reform, multiple modes of collective identity, and religion as locus of conflict. It examines how the place of Burmese Buddhism in colonial conflicts had changed since 1920, along with the ways in which sāsana reform has transformed society and the meaning of sāsana was shaped in the process of reform. It also considers how the projects of the Buddhist associations actively constructed and reconstructed the sense of moral community felt by the members, revealing the indeterminacy and imagined nature of Burmese identity. Finally, it explains how Burmese Buddhists used religion to contest colonial categories that impinged on their lives and to ultimately renegotiate the terms of colonialism.

Keywords:   sāsana, sāsana reform, Burmese Buddhism, colonial conflicts, Buddhist associations, moral community, Burmese identity, Burmese Buddhists, religion, colonialism

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