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Buddhist Fury: Religion and Violence in Southern Thailand Paperback – July 28, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199793247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199793242
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"[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


Michael Jerryson is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SEAsia Hand on June 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a graduate student who focuses on Southern Thailand, this is a book that is in many ways groundbreaking. It has brought up many important issues about how the Thai government is not afraid of using Buddhism as an ideological weapon. If you read this book, I would also suggest reading Buddhist Warfare (which is edited by Jerryson) as well which focuses on how several countries have used Buddhism to justify violence and wholly debunks the idealized vision that Buddhism is anymore peaceful than any other religion.

The thing that sets this book apart is its readability. Although a scholarly work, Jerryson manages to make it fun to read which is in sharp contrast to many other authors who focus on Southern Thailand. For academics, there is plenty of material to work with. For casual reader, the language is accessible enough that you do not feel bogged down by "scholar speak" and the material is interesting enough to keep you reading. Overall, a great book and an important piece of work for anyone interested in Thailand.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Stewart on September 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a valuable contribution to the study of Buddhism in general. In particular, it throws light on the complex ways that violence and Buddhism intersect in Theravada Buddhist countries. Many believe that violence is anti-thetical to the basic tenets of Buddhism. Though this may be true, this does not stop Buddhists from oppressing and acting out violently against those who they oppose. Although this book is specifically about Thailand, it is interesting to reflect on how Jerryson's study informs our understanding of conflict in other Theravada Buddhist countries such as Sri Lanka. Highly recommended.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful By john1411 on January 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
As an American who has just returned from Thailand after living there for nearly ten years, I am completely puzzled by this book's claims. The writer claims his insights are based on fieldwork, but, based on his obvious misunderstandings of Thai Buddhist practice, Thai culture, and the situation in southern Thailand, I honestly find it hard to believe that he spent any significant time in the south of Thailand. For one thing, he claims that the southern provinces are 85% Muslim. A wholly dubious, even bizarre, claim. That claim is not true, but it is exactly what the Muslim terrorists like to claim in their propaganda.(Yes, they are terrorists. They bomb schools, markets, and ambush innocent travelers on the roads. And they have no qualms about killing Thai children and women, if they are not Muslim.) Neither Thai Buddhism nor Thai culture can be understood in any depth by passing through on a short stay. The problem in the south of Thailand is a matter of Muslim clerics, aided and abetted by elements of the Malaysian government, rousing up the Muslim population to try and force a separate Muslim state, which would of course, be controlled by the Muslim clerics. This would also be a nice prize for Malaysia. And the writer, clearly, obviously, is profoundly ignorant of Buddhism and Thai Buddhist practice. In Buddhism, monks have to follow 227 precepts, four of which are considered deal breakers for monkhood. If a monk kills, or causes, directly or indirectly, the death of another human being, he is automatically no longer a monk. Thai Buddhists would not tolerate any one who violated this precept and continued to wear robes. This would be a very serious, very grave matter. Another issue is the Muslim propaganda.Read more ›
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rukshan1015 on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is completely biased and giving wrong impression about Buddhism. Looks like this author doesn't know what's exactly going on in Southern Thailand or he deliberately misinforms general public.
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