The Work of Kings
Beginning with Anagarika Dharmapala's "rationalization" of Buddhism in the early twentieth century, which called for monks to take on a more activist role in the community, Seneviratne shows how the monks have gradually revised their role to include involvement in political and economic spheres. The altruistic, morally pure monks of Dharamapala's dreams have become, Seneviratne trenchantly argues, self-centered and arrogant, concealing self-aggrandizement behind a façade of "social service."
A compelling call for reform and a forceful analysis, The Work of Kings is essential to anthropologists, historians of religion, and those interested in colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonial politics.
Note on Usage
1: Buddhism, Civil Society, and the Present Study
2: Dharmapala and the Definition of the Monk's Mission
3: The Economic Stage: Vidyodaya and Rural Development
4: Vidyalankara: The Descent into Ideology
5: Social Service: The Anatomy of a Vocation
6: The Critique of Monkhood
7: Conclusion: From Regeneration to Degeneration