"[An] important and provocative study...It will have a beneficial impact on scholarship about the conflict in the south if it encourages scholars to shift the emphasis in explaining conflict as due to the tired stereotype of radical Islam to analyse the close nexus between Thai Buddhism and the state, and the implications that this nexus has on the ongoing violence in southern Thailand." --Journal of Southeast Asia Studies
"Michael Jerryson's work is a welcome addition and a significant contribution to the literature on southern Thailand which has so far been lacking attention to the Buddhist aspect of the situation and the conflict... comprehensive." --Journal of Islamic Studies
"This remarkable and powerful study, based on extensive field research in a contested region of southern Thailand, shatters the image of Buddhist nonviolence. Armed Buddhist monks justify their militant role in defending the faith, and show that the spiritual and social, personal and political, and warring and peaceful sides of religious life are intertwined in Buddhism just as they are in every other religious tradition. This thoughtful, readable book is essential for anyone who wants to understand the dark side of Buddhism and the ambiguous role that religious violence plays in global public life."---Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State
"A welcome corrective to the received wisdom in Thailand, which demonizes Islam as a violent religion causing conflict in the country's far South. Building on the work of Mark Jürgensmeyer, Stanley Tambiah, Duncan McCargo and Brian Victoria, Jerryson debunks the myth of Buddhism as a moderate, moral spiritual force operating "above" the political and outside the state...a significant advance in understandings of Thai racialized identity and the Buddhist spiritual dimensions of ultra-nationalism and racism."--New Mandala
About the Author
is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University.