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The Buddha in LannaArt, Lineage, Power, and Place in Northern Thailand$
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Angela S. Chiu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858742

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858742.001.0001

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Buddha Images and the Monkhood

Buddha Images and the Monkhood

Monastic Political Power beyond the Cloister

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter Three Buddha Images and the Monkhood
Source:
The Buddha in Lanna
Author(s):

Angela S. Chiu

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824858742.003.0003

The Mūlasāsanā chronicles narrate the history of two monastic sects, the Flower Garden (Suan Dok) and the Redwood Grove (Pa Daeng), in Lanna. The texts describe a furious feud between the orders in the sixteenth century. The accounts contradict Weberian conceptions of monks as withdrawn from the wider secular world. The orders deliberately drew the laity into the feud by emphasizing that patronizing the wrong order carried mortal risks. The monks deployed Buddha statues and stories about them; as images arise from the agencies of monks and lay devotees, they are connected to both and thus the ideal means for the monkhood to embroil the laity in the dispute. Accounts of Buddha statues from the Burmese Glass Palace Chronicle likewise reflect this conception of the image as both the Buddha himself and as an object subject to human manipulation, and therefore as an object whose agencies must be managed.

Keywords:   Mulasasana, Suan Dok, Pa Daeng, Keng Tung, Chiang Mai, Max Weber, Glass Palace Chronicle, iconoclasm

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