By Jane Bunnag

ISBN-10: 0521040647

ISBN-13: 9780521040648

Such a lot anthropological and sociological reports of Buddhism have focused on village and rural Buddhism. it is a systematic anthropological research of monastic association and monk-layman interplay in a only city context within the nations the place Theravada Buddhism is practised, specifically, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Laos and Thailand. the fabric awarded is predicated on fieldwork performed in Ayutthaya, significant Thailand. Dr Bunnag describes and analyses the socio-economic and formality kinfolk latest among the monk and the lay group, and she or he demonstrates the way the function of the monk is utilized by a few males, wittingly or another way, as a social stepping-stone, in that for the son of a farmer a interval within the monkhood grants the schooling and contacts essential to facilitate his assimilation into the city lay group at a social and monetary point which might another way were most unlikely. ultimately, Dr Bunnag locations the cloth awarded in a broader theoretical context via reviewing it relating to anthropological discussions in regards to the nature of Thai society as a complete.

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There are comparatively few monks who can be regarded as malingerers. These men who have entered upon 'the way of the monk' are separated from the rest of society not only by their residence in the wat but by diacritical features of dress and personal appearance. 8 Furthermore, the monk is differentiated from the laity in matters of etiquette and deportment, which are also regulated by the Patimo\\ha rules; he should be careful of his table manners, and 'not eat stuffing out (the cheeks like a monkey)'; he should wear his robes in a decorous and modest manner and not 'sit laughing loudly in inhabited areas' (Ven.

The chief points of difference between the two lie in the fact that the bhi\\hus of the Thammayuti\a sect adhere more strictly to the rules of conduct laid down in the Vinaya-pita\a and in general place a greater emphasis on study rather than on pastoral services performed for the laity. 29 29 See article in Thai in the journal Sangkhomsatporithat (The Social Science Review) by S. Siwaraksa on the causes and implications of the differences existing between the two sects (Special Edition no. 4, August 1966 (Social Sciences Press, Bangkok), p.

It can be seen from the foregoing discussion that the theory that an individual accumulates merit or demerit by his \hammic actions provides in very general terms an explanation for his present social status and for the vicissitudes of life which may befall him, in that 'the past determines the present which (combined with the past) determines the future' (Obeyesekere 1968, p. 21). But it must be stressed that as a theory of causation Khamma 20 The Thai social system is very indeterminate; merit is not comparable, the actor is unaware of the precise value of his past and present actions, and nor does he know when their effects will be made manifest.

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Buddhist Monk, Buddhist Layman: A Study of Urban Monastic Organization in Central Thailand by Jane Bunnag


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