Ven. Walpola Rahula and the politicisation of the Sinhala Sangha.

Suren Raghavan

Abstract


This essay tries to describe the influence of the Bhikkhus in Sinhala politics as demonstrated by the ideology, work and life of the Ven. Walpola Rahul - perhapsthe most influential scholar monk in the modern Sangha of Sri Lanka. The attempt is to show how the Maha Sangha became the key actors in the continuum of an ideology of Sinhala ethnicity, their ownership of the island and duty to protect Sinhala Buddhist culture. Rahula’s contribution has created a new brand of Sangha who are committed to a different political path to redefine Sinhala Buddhism and modern Sri Lanka.

 


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