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By Jane Bunnag

So much anthropological and sociological stories of Buddhism have focused on village and rural Buddhism. this can be a systematic anthropological research of monastic association and monk-layman interplay in a merely 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, vital Thailand. Dr Bunnag describes and analyses the socio-economic and formality relatives present among the monk and the lay group, and he or she 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 provides the schooling and contacts essential to facilitate his assimilation into the city lay group at a social and monetary point which might differently were very unlikely. ultimately, Dr Bunnag locations the cloth provided in a broader theoretical context through reviewing it when it comes to anthropological discussions about the nature of Thai society as a complete.

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Extra info for Buddhist Monk, Buddhist Layman: A Study of Urban Monastic Organization in Central Thailand

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Nevertheless there are a number of very general premises relating to kinship behaviour which are regarded as being of primary importance for the maintenance of smooth social relations. Thais believe that not only should one respect one's senior kinsmen who, having lived longer, are assumed to know better, but also that relatives should assist each other in all matters. But in Thailand as in other societies where kinship is reckoned bilaterally, kinship relations are only significant when they are activated, and a great deal of freedom is given to the individual in selecting the people whom he will regard and treat as kin.

Unlike the father-son relationship in which there is the element of replacement along the age axis or the element of separation when the young man comes into full maturity, and the older man passes out of the control and command phase of his life, the mother-daughter role is without the threat of replacement or separation' (Nash 1965, pp. 51-2). This explanation may well hold good for Thai society, although there are other factors to be taken into consideration. It seems from the material available that it is unusual for two or more married siblings to remain in the parental home (Caldwell 1967, p.

120 Even a good person sees evil so long as good ripens not; but when it bears fruit, then the good one sees the good results. v. 121 Despise not evil, saying "It will not come nigh unto me"; by the falling of drops even a water-jar is filled; likewise the fool, gathering little by little, fills himself with evil. v. ' (Narada Thera 1959, p. 40) 18 Buddhism is not concerned with alleviating immediate physical suffering. Suffering of all kinds is considered to be a necessary condition of existence.

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