Katherine A. Bowie F'17
The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies 2017
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Saint of Northern Thailand: Resurrecting the Stormy Life of Kruba Srivichai.
Kruba Srivichai (1878-1939) is the most famous Buddhist monk of northern Thailand. Between 1920-1935, he built or restored over 100 temples throughout the region. Nonetheless, he was detained under temple arrest for investigation in Bangkok in 1920 and 1935-36, under charges that included treason. His second arrest went in tandem with the forced disrobing of some 400 of his northern disciples. Generally dismissed as resulting from petty jealousies or simple misunderstandings, the conflicts underlying his arrests have received little scholarly attention. Grounded in historical anthropology, my proposed book draws on oral histories and archival sources in order to place his arrests in the context of the process of secular nation-state formation in 20th century Thailand.