New Buddhist Movements in Thailand
Towards an Understanding of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke
Routledge – 2007 – 272 pages
Vastly different in belief and practice, two new Buddhist religious movements in Thailand, namely the Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke emerged in Thailand in the 1970s at a time of political uncertainty, social change and increasing dissatisfaction with the Thai Sangha and its leadership.
Examining these movements, which represent two distinctive trends within contemporary Buddhism in Thailand, this book explains why they have come into being, what they have reacted against and what they offer to their members. Both movements have a wide membership outside of Thailand, with temples in the UK, Europe, USA, Japan and Australia. New Buddhist Movements in Thailand will appeal to those interested in Buddhism's confrontation with modernity, and its responses to evolving social issues in Thailand, as well as to those interested in new religions in the broader context of religious studies.
Introduction 1. Setting the Scene: The Religious and Socio-Political Context of the Development of the Two Movements 2. The Inception and Development of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Movement 3. An Analysis of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Movement 4. The Approach of Wat Phra Dhammakaya to Spiritual Development 5. The History of the Santi Asike Movement and a Description of its Various Communities 6. The Distinctives of Santi Asoke and an Analysis of the Movement 7. The Approach of Santi Asoke to Spiritual Purification. Conclusion. Appendix 1: Research Methodology. Appendix 2: Analysis of the Santi Asoke Questionnaire
Rory Mackenzie teaches Buddhism and Practical Theology at the International Christian College, Glasgow. He has lived in Thailand for eleven years, is involved in the Thai community in Edinburgh and makes regular visits back to Thailand.