Category Archives: Buddhism

Christian-Buddhist Dialogue in Sri Lanka in Modern Times

The World Council of Churches (WCC) [partnered] in organising the 13th annual conference of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies to commemorate the birth centenary of Lynn A De Silva, a pioneering figure in Christian-Buddhist dialogue. The conference, which is considered one of the most high-profile international conferences on crucial issues within the Buddhist-Christian encounter, [took place] at the Arch Abbey of St Ottilien, near Munich, Germany from 27 June–1 July 2019.

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Bharhut Stupa: Its Significance in the History of Buddhism

Bhante Dhammika of Australia, in Island, 14 August 2019, where the title runs “Bharhut Stupa; Majesty and Mystery”

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The British Major had ridden for days from Allahabad while on his way to Nagpur and had arrived in the small village of Bharhut just before sunset. That evening while resting in a villager’s house he noticed some carved stones paving the floor and suspected that they had been taken from some ancient structure. Inquiring about this he learned from his host that there was a half-buried ruin a little beyond the eastern edge of the village. So in the morning the major went to have a look at this overgrown mound of bricks and stone. The time was November 1873, the major was Alexander Cunningham and he was about to stumble upon one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in India and one that is testimony to the artistic genius of the early Buddhists.

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2000-Year Old Buddhist Scroll from Gandhara Now in Public Domain

Allen Kim of CNN, in https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/29/world/gandhara-scroll-buddhism-trnd/index.html

The Library of Congress made public a rare 2,000-year-old text of early Buddhism on Monday, and it offers a glimpse into early Buddhist history during its formative years.  The scroll originated in Gandhara, an ancient Buddhist region in northern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only a few hundred Gandharan manuscripts are known to scholars worldwide, and each is vital to understanding the early development of Buddhist literature. For instance, using linguistic analysis, scholars study these manuscripts to chart the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia.

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Seeking Religio-Political Coexistence in Sri Lanka

Muditha Dias of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2 June 2019, where the title is The search for religious harmony in Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday attacks”

“Who exactly is the NTJ?” I asked our cameraman. We were filming at the Temple of the Tooth Relic, or the Dalada Maligawa, the holiest Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Religion and Ethics Report journalist Muditha Dias filming in Sri Lanka… RN

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Challenging Hannah Beech: The Strangulation of the Rohingyas, 1948-2019

Gerald Peiris, … responding to https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/buddhist-zealots-in-sri-lanka-and-myanmar-stir-the-cauldron/See Note at head of References

The section of the Bangladesh frontier in the south-east runs adjacent to the northern Arakan states of Myanmar (formerly, Burma) —a politically turbulent area which has, at least from the late 1940s, been featured by spells of high intensity conflict between the government of Myanmar and the Arakanese Muslims, the ‘Rohingya.’ The length of time over which the Rohingya have coexisted in this hilly area with the numerically larger ‘Rakhine’ — a predominantly Buddhist ethnic group— is not known with certainty. The Rohingya claim in this regard is that their roots could be traced back to the 10th century Muslim migrations into Burma, and that, in the northern Arakan, they constituted an independent principality for more than three centuries from 1430 to 1784.[i]  This has been disputed.  The official stand of the government of Myanmar (which has, in fact, been corroborated in certain scholarly writings) is that the Rohingya community consists largely of Bengali Muslims who migrated into this area after the annexation of Arakan by the British in 1843.

Pics from 2017 selected by Thuppahi from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rohingya-crisis-photos_n_5a3bc302e4b025f99e150f1d

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Buddhist Zealots in Sri Lanka and Myanmar stir the Cauldron

Hannah Beech, in New York Times, 8 July 2019, where the title runs “Buddhists Go to Battle: When Nationalism Overrides Pacifism” …. A call to arms for Sri Lankan monks. Ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. A Buddhist faith known for pacifism is taking its place in a new age of nationalism

GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious. The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said. “Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”

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A Review of the Book BUDDHISM TRANSFORMED

Premkumara De Silva,** in The Midweek Review of The Island, 17 May 2005, where the title runs ” Anthropology of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ “

The disciplinary identification of “Buddhism” in Sri Lanka as an anthropological object began in the late 1950s as part of a growing field of “peasant” or village studies in South and Southeast Asian societies. In Sri Lanka, the work of Gananath Obeyesekere, Edmond Leach, Michael Ames, and Nur Yalman is central to this inaugural moment. These anthropologists have identified the integration of the diverse beliefs and practices of Sinhala Buddhists within a religious worldview that is in accordance with fundamental Theravada Buddhist teachings. Within this academic exercise Obeyesekere insisted on the term “Sinhalese Buddhism” to convey the idea of full variety of religious practice, popular and esoteric, in Sri Lankan Buddhism. He argues that Sinhala Buddhism should be seen as “a single religious tradition”, and not as composed of separate “layers” to be analysed in isolation from each other.

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