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By Jane Bunnag

Such a lot anthropological and sociological stories of Buddhism have targeting village and rural Buddhism. it is a systematic anthropological learn of monastic association and monk-layman interplay in a in simple terms city context within the international locations the place Theravada Buddhism is practised, specifically, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Laos and Thailand. the cloth offered relies on fieldwork conducted in Ayutthaya, primary Thailand. Dr Bunnag describes and analyses the socio-economic and formality family members present among the monk and the lay group, and she or he demonstrates the best way the position of the monk is utilized by a few males, wittingly or another way, as a social stepping-stone, in that for the son of a farmer a interval within the monkhood promises the schooling and contacts essential to facilitate his assimilation into the city lay neighborhood at a social and financial point which might in a different way were most unlikely. eventually, Dr Bunnag areas the cloth awarded in a broader theoretical context by way of reviewing it relating to anthropological discussions about the nature of Thai society as an entire.

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24 23 Buddhist mon\^ Buddhist layman SOMDET PHRASANGKHARAT (Supreme Patriarch) MAHATHERASAMAKHOM (Council of Elders) CHAO KHANA PHAK (Ecclesiastical Regional Head) CHAO KHANA CHANGWAT (Ecclesiastical Provincial Head) CHAO KHANA AMPHOE (Ecclesiastical District Head) CHAO KHANA TAMBON (Ecclesiastical Sub-District Head) CHAO AWAT (Abbot of Wat) Fig. 2. Outline chart of the Thai Sangha (According to the Act on the Administration of the Buddhist Order of Sangha, 1962) 2 4 The Thai social system The Thai Buddhist Monkhood (Sangha).

26 The regulations thus established however, in no way interfere with the operation of the rules of discipline contained in the Vinaya-pita\a which are binding upon Theravada Buddhist monks in all countries. The purpose of these Acts on the Administration of the Buddhist Order of Sangha (1902, 1941, 1964) was to organize the monkhood as a national institution and indeed to bring the Order under State Control. '27 Following this legislation a hierarchy of ecclesiastical offices was created, along the lines of the Thai civil administration.

21 Certainly, several of my older informants seemed scarcely to be able to write, though they were at pains to disguise this disability. It is obvious, then, that this ruling is not very stringently applied, and in none of the cases I observed did the upacha actually test the capacity of the ordinand to read and write.

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