Chapter

Anagārika Dharmapāla and the Politics of Religion

Torkel Brekke

in Makers of Modern Indian Religion in the Late Nineteenth Century

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252367
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602047 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019925236X.003.0005

Series: Oxford Oriental Monographs

 Anagārika Dharmapāla and the Politics of Religion

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Anagarika Dharmapala applied his new ideas on Buddhism by attempting to take over Buddhist sites in India, particularly Bodh Gaya. Buddhists had a special historical connection with Eastern India because this was where Buddha reached enlightenment and founded his religion. Dharmapala believed that the identity of Buddhist Sri Lanka was defined by its ties to the symbolic centre of their religion, which lay in the heart of India — the Bodh Gaya. His long struggle to gain control over Bodh Gaya was a struggle to define Buddhist identity for himself and the Sinhalese nation in relation to their symbolic centre.

Keywords: Buddhism; religion; India; Anagarika Dharmapala; Bodh Gaya

Chapter.  11919 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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