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The ‘Khanan Dream’: Engagements of Former Buddhist Monks with the Market Economy in Sipsong Panna, PR China

The ‘Khanan Dream’: Engagements of Former Buddhist Monks with the Market Economy in Sipsong... Studies of post-monastic careers and experiences of ordained men in Theravada Buddhist societies are few and far between. This paper explores this topics focusing on the case of Tai Lue former monks (khanan) in Sipsong Panna, in southwest China. During the post-1980 reform period, and contradicting stereotypes concerning economic performance on the part of ethnic minorities, Lue former monks have made use of the skills acquired during monkhood in order to engage with the contemporary economy in urban contexts. While many of them succeed in becoming mediators between the tradition symbolised by the temple and new economic forms, this paper argues that the participation in profit-oriented business of men whose behaviour is expected to be determined by selflessness and sacrifice for the community, provokes contradiction and tension among members of the group. This is seen in a recent economic venture set into motion by a group of young khanan who attempt to take advantage of nascent Buddhist economic networks in Sipsong Panna. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology Taylor & Francis

The ‘Khanan Dream’: Engagements of Former Buddhist Monks with the Market Economy in Sipsong Panna, PR China

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology , Volume 17 (2): 19 – Mar 14, 2016
19 pages

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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 The Australian National University
ISSN
1740-9314
eISSN
1444-2213
DOI
10.1080/14442213.2016.1144077
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Studies of post-monastic careers and experiences of ordained men in Theravada Buddhist societies are few and far between. This paper explores this topics focusing on the case of Tai Lue former monks (khanan) in Sipsong Panna, in southwest China. During the post-1980 reform period, and contradicting stereotypes concerning economic performance on the part of ethnic minorities, Lue former monks have made use of the skills acquired during monkhood in order to engage with the contemporary economy in urban contexts. While many of them succeed in becoming mediators between the tradition symbolised by the temple and new economic forms, this paper argues that the participation in profit-oriented business of men whose behaviour is expected to be determined by selflessness and sacrifice for the community, provokes contradiction and tension among members of the group. This is seen in a recent economic venture set into motion by a group of young khanan who attempt to take advantage of nascent Buddhist economic networks in Sipsong Panna.

Journal

The Asia Pacific Journal of AnthropologyTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 14, 2016

Keywords: China; Ethnic Minorities; Sipsong Panna; Theravada Buddhism; Monasticism; Former Monks; Market Economy; Moral Economy; Guanxi

References