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Buddhism and National Integration in Thailand

Charles F. Keyes
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 30, No. 3 (May, 1971), pp. 551-567
DOI: 10.2307/2052460
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2052460
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Buddhism and National Integration in Thailand
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Abstract

Buddhism in Thailand has been both subjected to integrative policies advanced by the Thai government and manipulated as an instrument for promoting national integration. As a result of reforms instituted at the end of the nineteenth century, several different traditions of Therevada Buddhism were united into a national religious system. In recent years, the Thai government has attempted to involve the Buddhist Sangha in efforts to promote economic development among the Thai peasantry and assimilation of tribal peoples into Thai society. While the policies designed to integrate Buddhism within Thailand were successful, the efforts to use Thai Buddhism as instrument of national policy could prove deleterious rather than advantageous to the attainment of national goals.

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