Sinhala ethno-nationalisms and militarization in Sri Lanka

Deegalle, M (2012) 'Sinhala ethno-nationalisms and militarization in Sri Lanka.' In: Tikhonov, V and Brekke, T, eds. Buddhism and violence: militarism and Buddhism in modern Asia. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780415536967

Official URL:


It is generally accepted in the West that Buddhism is a ‘peaceful’ religion. The Western public tends to assume that the doctrinal rejection of violence in Buddhism would make Buddhist pacifists, and often expects Buddhist societies or individual Asian Buddhists to conform to the modern Western standards of ‘peaceful’ behavior. This stereotype – which may well be termed ‘positive Orientalism,’ since it is based on assumption that an ‘Oriental’ religion would be more faithful to its original non-violent teachings than Western Christianity – has been periodically challenged by enthusiastic acquiescence by monastic Buddhism to the most brutal sorts of warfare. This volume demolishes this stereotype, and produces instead a coherent, nuanced account on the modern Buddhist attitudes towards violence and warfare, which take into consideration both doctrinal logic of Buddhism and the socio-political situation in Asian Buddhist societies. The chapters in this book offer a deeper analysis of ‘Buddhist militarism’ and Buddhist attitudes towards violence than previous volumes, grounded in an awareness of Buddhist doctrines and the recent history of nationalism, as well as the role Buddhism plays in constructions of national identity. The international team of contributors includes scholars from Thailand, Japan, and Korea.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Keywords: Violence — Asia — Religious aspects — Buddhism. Militarism — Asia — Religious aspects — Buddhism. Militarism — Asia — History — 20th century. Militarism — Asia — History — 21st century.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2013 10:48
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:32
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)