“Foremost among Religions”: Theravada Buddhism’s Affairs with the Modern Sri Lankan State

  • Mahinda Deegalle


Theravada Buddhism, often identified as an orthodox form of Buddhism, remains the dominant religion in Sri Lanka. Several Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Burma also subscribe to the same form of Theravada tradition. Buddhists in these South and Southeast Asian nations share a number of concerns, ideologies, and a vast body of Pali as well as vernacular literature that inspire their beliefs and practices. When the citizens of these nations relate to the modern government of their respective countries, some of which are postcolonial societies, they have certain expectations from the state with regard to Buddhism. In that respect, they make certain assumptions on the affairs of the state on the basis of their religious views as to what constitutes good governance.


Buddhist Tradition Christian Denomination Cultural Affair Religious Affair State Religion 
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© John Whalen-Bridge and Pattana Kitiarsa 2013

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  • Mahinda Deegalle

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