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For Humanity. For the Sinhalese. Dharmapala as Crusading Bosat

Michael Roberts
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 56, No. 4 (Nov., 1997), pp. 1006-1032
DOI: 10.2307/2658297
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2658297
Page Count: 27
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For Humanity. For the Sinhalese. Dharmapala as Crusading Bosat
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Abstract

Michael Roberts concentrates on the major figure of Anagarika Dharmapala who played a significant role in late-nineteenth-century Buddhist reform in Sri Lanka, which redefined Buddhism as a vehicle for the nationalistic aspirations of the Sinhalese. By emphasizing both the national and the international intellectual context of Dharmapala's thinking, he constructs an argument that takes issue with analyses focusing exclusively on Dharmapala's nationalism. And by fleshing out his ties to Buddhist traditions and specific Buddhist texts, the author exposes the Buddhist roots of Dharmapala's nationalism and notions of his culture and its purity. Viewed in this context, Dharmapala and his ideas do not appear to fit comfortably into the category of Protestant Buddhism, deployed to underline the influence of Protestant Christianity on Sri Lanka.

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