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Spreading the Dhamma : writing, orality, and textual transmission in Buddhist Northern Thailand

Author: Daniel M Veidlinger
Publisher: Honolulu : University of Hawaiʻi Press, ©2006.
Series: Southeast Asia--politics, meaning, memory.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
How did early Buddhists actually encounter the seminal texts of their religion? What were the attitudes held by monks and laypeople toward the written and oral Pali traditions? In this pioneering work, Daniel Veidlinger explores these questions in the context of the northern Thai kingdom of Lan Na. Drawing on a vast array of sources, including indigenous chronicles, reports by foreign visitors, inscriptions, and  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Electronic book
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Veidlinger, Daniel M.
Spreading the Dhamma.
Honolulu : University of Hawaiʻi Press, ©2006
(DLC) 2006008330
Material Type: Document, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Daniel M Veidlinger
OCLC Number: 1018046289
Notes: Based on the author's thesis (University of Chicago).
Description: 1 online resource (1 electronic recource (xii, 259 pages)) : map.
Contents: Frontmatter --
Contents --
Acknowledgments --
Note on transliteration and translation --
Abbreviations --
Introduction --
1. Monks and Memory: The Oral World --
2. Early Thai Encounters with Orality and Literacy --
3. Golden Age, Golden Images, and Golden Leaves --
4. The Text in the World: Scribes, Sponsors, and Manuscript Culture --
5. Turning Over a New Leaf: The Advance of Writing --
6. Overlooked or Looked Over? The Meaning and Uses of Written Pali Texts --
Conclusion --
Notes --
Bibliography --
Index --
About the author.
Series Title: Southeast Asia--politics, meaning, memory.
Responsibility: Daniel M. Veidlinger.
More information:

Abstract:

How did early Buddhists actually encounter the seminal texts of their religion? What were the attitudes held by monks and laypeople toward the written and oral Pali traditions? In this pioneering work, Daniel Veidlinger explores these questions in the context of the northern Thai kingdom of Lan Na. Drawing on a vast array of sources, including indigenous chronicles, reports by foreign visitors, inscriptions, and palm-leaf manuscripts, he traces the role of written Buddhist texts in the predominantly oral milieu of northern Thailand from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Veidlinger examines how the written word was assimilated into existing Buddhist and monastic practice in the region, considering the use of manuscripts for textual study and recitation as well as the place of writing in the cultic and ritual life of the faithful. He shows how manuscripts fit into the economy, describes how they were made and stored, and highlights the understudied issue of the "cult of the book" in Theravâda Buddhism. Looking at the wider Theravâda world, Veidlinger argues that manuscripts in Burma and Sri Lanka played a more central role in the preservation and dissemination of Buddhist texts. By offering a detailed examination of the motivations driving those who sponsored manuscript production, this study draws attention to the vital role played by forest-dwelling monastic orders introduced from Sri Lanka in the development of Lan Na's written Pali heritage. It also considers the rivalry between those monks who wished to preserve the older oral tradition and monks, rulers, and laypeople who supported the expansion of the new medium of writing.

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