Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words
Histories of Buddhist Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand
Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words examines modern and premodern Buddhist monastic education traditions in Laos and Thailand. Through five centuries of adaptation and reinterpretation of sacred texts and commentaries, Justin McDaniel traces curricular variations in Buddhist oral and written education that reflect a wide array of community goals and values. He depicts Buddhism as a series of overlapping processes, bringing fresh attention to the continuities of Theravada monastic communities that have endured despite regional and linguistic variations. Incorporating both primary and secondary sources from Thailand and Laos, he examines premodern inscriptional, codicological, anthropological, art historical, ecclesiastical, royal, and French colonial records. By looking at modern sermons, and even television programs and websites, he traces how pedagogical techniques found in premodern palm-leaf manuscripts are pervasive in modern education.
As the first comprehensive study of monastic education in Thailand and Laos, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words will appeal to a wide audience of scholars and students interested in religious studies, anthropology, social and intellectual history, and pedagogy.
About the Author
"Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words is a rich and often fascinating treatment of Buddhist monastic textual culture and bilingual commentary in the Siamese/Thai/Lao region, reflecting the author's long personal acquaintance with Lao/Thai monastic institutions and educational practices."—H-ASIA
"With this book, McDaniel, a gifted textual scholar, has produced the first systemic study of how monks have been educated in Southeast Asia over the last five hundred years."—Buddhadharma
"This is a brilliant study which will establish McDaniel as the foremost student of the relationship between Buddhist religious texts and the contexts in which they are read, heard, seen, and interpreted."—Charles Keyes, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and International Studies, University of Washington
Other Titles by Justin Thomas McDaniel
Other Titles from Critical Dialogues in Southeast Asian Studies
Other Titles in RELIGION / Buddhism / Sacred Writings
Other Titles in Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies