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Rescued from the NationAnagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World$
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Steven Kemper

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226199078

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226199108.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

World Renunciation in a Nineteenth-Century World

World Renunciation in a Nineteenth-Century World

(p.1) Introduction: World Renunciation in a Nineteenth-Century World
Rescued from the Nation

Steven Kemper

University of Chicago Press

The Introduction begins with Dharmapala’s role today in Sri Lankan public life, moving on to academic treatments of his life project, which emphasize his reforming Buddhism and reinventing Sinhala ethnic identity. It does so by situating his life between rising nationalism and a burst of universalizing movements such as Theosophy and a newly self-conscious Buddhist world. Dharmapala reveals his own self-understanding in his diaries and notebooks, organized around his innerliness, hypercritical temperament, comChicagoment to celibacy, and identification with the Buddha. Seeing him in these terms makes it hard to think of him as a Protestant Buddhist, and renders him more a world renouncer than a pious lay reformer.

Keywords:   Buddhist reform, Sinhala ethnic identity, Protestant Buddhism, world renunciation, universalism v. Nationalism

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