Anne M. Blackburn
- Cornell University
A reappraisal of British colonial impact on Sri Lankan Buddhism
Making Buddhist Kingdoms across the Indian Ocean, 1200-1500
During the period between 1200 and 1500, a new regime of Indian Ocean trade and shifting political formations in South and Southeast Asia spurred the circulation of Buddhist intellectuals within the Indian Ocean sphere. Just as the Lankan Buddhist world entered a phase of unprecedented instability and creativity, Buddhists on the mainland (in what is now Thailand and Burma) increasingly sought access to Lankan Buddhist texts and institutions, and wrote Lankan Buddhist elements into their own histories. This project reveals the deep trans-regional connections among histories of Buddhist place-making and Buddhist-oriented political formations in the western and southwestern regions of Lanka (now Sri Lanka), north-central Tai lands, and Mon-Burmese territory. “Making Buddhist Kingdoms across the Indian Ocean” develops a connected Buddhist history across the boundaries of South and Southeast Asia, informed by comparison to the histories of Hindu- and Islam-oriented mobile intellectuals, and the state formations in which they participated.