By Kitsiri Malalgoda
Even if the inhabitants of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) embraces many fans of Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity, Buddhists have lengthy constituted the nice majority. equally, Buddhism is practiced through the Sinhalese, through a ways the biggest ethnic crew within the country.
For greater than 2,000 years the background of Sinhalese Buddhism has been recorded via clergymen in a sequence of chronicles. those chronicles encouraged a deep feel of old continuity. Mr. Malalgoda has made an in depth learn of the really contemporary historical past of Sinhalese Buddhism, within which the classical culture skilled revival and alter in line with either inner and exterior pressures.
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Extra resources for Buddhism in Sinhalese Society 1750-1900: A Study of Religious Revival and Change
An minds; and the desire to rum the heathen imo Christians figured fairly prominently in the European ex· pansion overseas. To the missionary, in particular, conquisla Itmp()ra/ was merely the first step towards the fi nal 8021 of umquiJla lJpiriIU(I/. An important conSCi:Juence of the transfer of political power into alien hands, as far as Buddhism in Ceylon was concerned, was the loss of the St3te patronage whLch if h:td enjoyed for cenrurics, anel which , a5 we have seen earlier, was a necessary condition for the proper functi oning of its central institutions.
S« W. M. A. su,i)"o. tu~ of Rdigi ou, Endowmm, in Ancir... <1 H. W. Codrington. A"m"l un'" Troll'" ,IIId Rnn". in Crjlolf (Colombo, 19}8). , p. 2H. ted under different names at different timcs; still the differentiation occurred basiQlly on the s:amc principle. I t was no easy task to find a doctrinal justification for the pursuit of the new secondary goal by members of tbe Jdlflgha . 22 A justification was nonetheless found in terms of rhe historical circumstances [hat :u onc stage gravely threatened the very existence of Buddhism in Ceylon.
An c,,"min~t;on of Buddhism .... hronc •• nd Ati l" ... ·,;net! by ,he ",me au,hor on aCCount of. ,· Dlholic contro->crsy held in ,he M:iul1I dilt"CI. Bouden•. PI'. 196-97. : ~Io .... kCt ion iii ... of thi. ch. plet. Sri Vii ' )"" succcswr. iasi mh •. offi:rcd to .... dwn'K' l be priestS ruck 10 ~nd y in 1760 at ,he ~ginn;ng of lIosl iJi l ies . gainll ,be Dlm h: bu. s... Ihis 'ime. ndy. Bnudens. pp. 1}9-60. 36 BUDDHIS M IN SIN HALESE SOCIETY InO-I900 government by the predikants to rcvcn to the early measures of repression.