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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Far from the detached, world-renouncing religion it is often portrayed as, Buddhism has long been a source for theorizing about politics. This chapter examines the ways in which Buddhists have drawn from texts, doctrine, history, symbolism, and culture to argue for a wide range of political systems and ideologies, from monarchy to democracy and Marxism to imperialism. Buddhists have also invoked religious values in defense of the nation, although a critical look at Buddhist nationalism reveals that Buddhists are often directing their zeal toward other aspects of identity rather than the nation.

Keywords: Buddhism, Marxism, ideology, democracy, monarchy, nationalism

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