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Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-1993) is widely regarded as modern Thailand's most influential Buddhist philosopher. His thought had a profound intellectual impact in Thailand in the second half of the twentieth century. His life mission was to undertake a complete re-examination of Theravada Buddhist teachings. By returning to the Buddha's original teachings in the "Suttapitaka" and by drawing on aspects of Zen Buddhism, Buddhadasa crafted a vision of Thai Buddhism as a socially, politically, and intellectually progressive force. This vision of a modern Theravada Buddhism fit for a modern, democratic, and socially just Thailand continues to inspire large numbers of Thai people in the twenty-first century. In this book, Peter Jackson examines Buddhadasa's life work and thought, placing them in the context of the political, economic, and intellectual changes that transformed Thailand in the twentieth century. Combining biographical studies with critical philosophical and sociological analyses of Buddhadasa's reforms of Thai Buddhist teachings, Peter Jackson emphasizes the path-breaking and often radical ideas of one of the greatest Buddhist thinkers of the last century. This book is a revised and expanded edition of Peter Jackson's "Buddhadasa: A Buddhist Thinker for the Modern World", published in 1988. It contains a new epilogue tracing the controversy surrounding Buddhadasa's death in 1993 and reflecting on the philosopher-monk's lasting legacy in Thailand. Peter A. Jackson is Fellow in Thai History in the Australian National University's Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
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A critical analysis and biography of modern Thailand's most influential Buddhist philosopher

Table of Contents

Foreword to the First EditionPrefaceAcknowledgmentsNote on Transliteration and ReferencingIntroductionThe Social and Theoretical Contexts of Buddhadasa's WorkThe Sources of Buddhadasa's Innovative ViewsPhasa Khon-Phasa Tham: Buddhadasa's method of Scriptural InterpretationBuddhadasa on Rebirth and PaticcasamuppadaChit Wang and the Abolition of the Monk-Lay DistinctionThe Practice of Chit WangChit Wang and ZenBuddhadasa on Modernization and DevelopmentBuddhadasa's Political WritingsConclusion: Buddhadasa Bhikkhu - Theravada Buddhism's Conservative RadicalEpilogue: Buddhadasa Bhikkhu - His Last Days and His LegacyAppendix: The History and Teachings of Theravada BuddhismGlossary of Thai and Pali TermsNotesBibliography of English Language TextsBibliography of Thai Language TextsIndex

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