Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, Missionary and Colonial Experience in Nineteenth Century Sri Lanka

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Routledge, Apr 18, 2006 - Religion - 288 pages
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This major new work explores the British encounter with Buddhism in nineteenth century Sri Lanka, examining the way Buddhism was represented and constructed in the eyes of the British scholars, officials, travellers and religious seekers who first encountered it.

Tracing the three main historical phases of the encounter from 1796 to 1900, the book provides a sensitive and nuanced exegesis of the cultural and political influences that shaped the early British understanding of Buddhism and that would condition its subsequent transmission to the West.

Expanding our understanding of inter-religious relations between Christians and Buddhists, the book fills a significant gap in the scholarship on Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka by concentrating on missionary writings and presenting a thorough exploration of original materials of several important pioneers in Buddhist studies and mission studies.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Part I 17961830
9
Part II 18301870
35
Part III 18701900
87
Part IV Remodelling Buddhist belief and practice
161
Part V Discourses of contempt
189
Epilogue
213
Glossary
219
Notes
223
Bibliography
246
Index
262
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About the author (2006)

Elizabeth J. Harris is an Honorary Lecturer at Birmingham University and Secretary for Inter Faith Relations for the Methodist Church in Britain. A former Research Fellow at Westminster College, Oxford, she is the author of many books and articles on Theravada Buddhism and Buddhist–Christian encounter.

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