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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Contemporary Buddhism in Burma/Myanmar is diverse and manifold, and the variety of “modern” forms of Buddhism have evolved since the colonial period in dynamic interplay with modernization, colonization, nation-building, and shifting socioeconomic circumstances. Complex hybrids have emerged, combining a wide variety of sources and influences, drawing both on the pre-colonial developments and novel ones introduced during the colonial period onward, reflecting the interests of those involved, identity politics, and power struggles. This chapter investigates the development of a textual, doctrinal Buddhism, defense and promotion of the Buddha’s sasana, moral community, and national identity in a diversity of movements: the Buddhist lay associations, systematic meditation, and Abhidhamma studies for the laypeople, the insight meditation movement and the esoteric congregations, Buddhist nationalism, socially engaged Buddhism, and individualist trends and prosperity Buddhism.

Keywords: Abhidhamma, Buddhist lay associations, Burma/Myanmar, insight meditation, concentration meditation, nationalism, prosperity Buddhism

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