By Anne Ruth Hansen
This formidable cross-disciplinary research of Buddhist modernism in colonial Cambodia breaks new flooring in knowing the background and improvement of faith and colonialism in Southeast Asia. In How to Behave, Anne Hansen argues for the significance of Theravāda Buddhist ethics for imagining and articulating what it potential to be glossy in early-twentieth-century Cambodia. The Twenties in Cambodia observed an exuberant burst of latest published writings by means of self-described Khmer Buddhist modernists as regards to easy methods to behave (as strong Buddhists and ethical individuals) and find out how to purify oneself in lifestyle within the glossy global. Hansen's ebook, one of many first stories of colonial Buddhism established mostly on Khmer language resources, examines the modernists' wondering of Buddhist values that they deemed most crucial and appropriate. She explores their new interpretations of conventional doctrines, how they have been produced, and the way they symbolize Southeast Asian moral and non secular responses to the sleek movement of neighborhood and translocal occasions, humans, principles, and anxieties.
Hansen starts off her learn within the mid-nineteenth century with a Buddhist purification circulation that have been set in movement by means of the Khmer king Ang Duang. She follows Khmer priests to Siam as they sought out Buddhist scriptures and examines how they carried principles again to Cambodia and formed their very own reformist flow in a colonial society prompted through French discourses of modernization. Drawing on literary and moral varieties of research in addition to historic, Hansen not just money owed for this old upward push of modernist values but in addition introduces readers to modernist worldviews via cautious translations of sermons, ritual manuals, ethics compendia, and vernacular folktales.
How to Behave should be of curiosity to a large, multi-disciplinary viewers within the fields of Southeast Asian reports, spiritual reports, colonial background, and Buddhist ethics. It provides to the exam of the comparative and pan-Asian contours of non secular modernism between students of Asia and should be crucial studying for these operating within the fields of comparative colonialism, nationalism, and non secular modernity.
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Extra resources for How to Behave: Buddhism and Modernity in Colonial Cambodia, 1860-1930 (Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory)
The rest of the text is devoted to a depiction of the Bodhisatta’s progress toward attaining “bodhi-knowledge”83 or enlightenment. While the poem presents Siddhattha as one who never wavers from his goal of “seeking out the fruit of his own path, a Noble Way / to the peace of nibbãμa, which is happiness,”84 the jealous god Mãrã attempts to deter him with threats, force, and reminders of the wordly pleasures, emotions, and powers he will have to renounce. Once it becomes clear that the Bodhisatta will soon become enlightened, a crowd of “large and small gods” gather to observe him.
You should take up what is good and do that. 103 While kings in Buddhist literature are often depicted as possessors of almost unlimited power, righteous kings such as the future Sa°kha and King Nemi of the Nemi-jãtak recognize the intrinsic limitations of worldly power and the superiority of the path of world renunciation. Righteous kings, in this idealized conception, always defer to buddhas. It is this moral contrast between kings and buddhas that the poet of the Rýa° Paðhamasambodhi wants to convey; kings are powerful because they are meritorious, but ultimately, what makes them just is their recognition that there is a greater power that gives meaning and coherence to the world.
That is, the Buddha was not simply an exemplary moral ¤gure; his cosmic biography also demonstrated and made sense of how reality worked. The moral development of individuals was determined by action or kamma, and the bene¤t or harm it created. The physical formation and temporal framework of the world itself, in this conception, was linked to the moral progress and decline of individuals living in the world and to the rise and gradual puri¤cation of the subsequent buddhas who taught the Dhamma or Truth in different eras.
How to Behave: Buddhism and Modernity in Colonial Cambodia, 1860-1930 (Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory) by Anne Ruth Hansen