Monotheism (was: Crushing Defeat)
jkirk at SPRO.NET
Sat Mar 11 01:05:53 UTC 2006
Yes, in Thailand for example the sangha is---but the sangha there does not
dictate belief in the manner that some Christian institutions were/still are
able to do over the centuries.
Buddhist sanghas don't carry out belief inquisitions. The only persons
they are able to punish, for breaking vinaya rules, are errant monastics.
goes for Sri Lanka. The nature of the Buddhist sangha in Theravada
at least, is that it is not a "church" in our sense of the term, with
over all the faithful and institutions that legislate belief. Thus, for
example in recent times, to offer but one example, the monk Buddhadasa in
Thailand outraged some of the Bangkok samgha hierarchy with views that they
considered unacceptable, but they could do nothing. He made his own Suan
Mokh ashram in southern Thailand and became famous.
"Buddhism also does not have any one, central hierarchical "church" per se
from which theological doctrine issues."
Doesn't that depend on the country? In some Southeast Asian countries the
Sangha is very thoroughly organized.
Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D., Senior Reference Librarian
South Asia Team, Asian Division
Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at loc.gov
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of
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