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Religious Powerfulness and Sexuality as Class: on Male-Monk’s Superiority in Thai Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism,Male-Theravada Buddhism,Male-sexuality class,Royal-sanghalization,Male-monk class,
|Publication Year :||2021|
Theravada Buddhism is one of the most important traditional religions in Thailand. Its key crucial feature is that only men are allowed to be ordained as monks. With state’s ideological support the religious authority owns power to direct ordained ritual for male subjects. Under the circumstances state-maleness has been made through religious processes. Thailand in some ways enjoys admiration from global eyes on her openness which includes tolerance of multi-sexual or trans-sexual individuals, popularity of sex tourism and a gay paradise being established. Nevertheless in religious sphere only heterosexual individual can be accepted as normal figure. It is true that quite a few researchers have been interested in related themes on relationships between male and religion, but we find only few had paid attentions to inner stories among so-called monospecific maleness in Theravada world.
In this dissertation I concentrate my analysis on “Thai Male-Monk” (sa-ma-na-payt) or literally acquiring a sexuality status through ordination and find that Thai state-directed nationalism drives the formation and consolidation of royal-sanghalization. By means of its success Thai Male-Theravada Buddhism has been well-moralized and develops male-sexuality class. It has also caught a superior position. In order to safeguard special interests of the upper class especially the Royal members and aristocrats Thai state, leading by the Royal- sect called Thammayut, applied the most honorable male-sexuality class to Thai society in contrast to the other lower units. The male-monks who are composed of this particular sexuality class are standing in the highest status. For those Thai male-transgender named katoey, they did not have opportunity to be ordained as monk so that totally are counted as the lowest class.
The existences of “Thai Male-Monk” and sexuality based on ordination as highest class tells us many core stories of the formulation of royal-sanghalization. The state together with Buddhism authority have made great efforts to keep a clearly-recognized position of the lowest class say people like katoey and then on the other hand verify the surreal Male-Monk class in a unshakable highest religious place. On the basis of my research I would like to suggest that anthropologists should contribute more on inner dynamics of Thai Buddhism and history of state and especially their influences and impacts on non-orthodoxy lower religious classes. The essence of Thai society through such efforts will be clarified and comprehensively understood.
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