This paper explores how Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka attempt to suppress conversion to Christianity. Conversion to Christianity can dilute the power and legitimacy of Buddhist groups, which has caused them to promote a discourse of ‘unethical’ conversion. My argument is that such a discourse is self-Orientalising in nature, and is designed to enable the (re)production of Buddhist hegemony in Sri Lanka. By constructing Buddhists as vulnerable and in need of protection, the hegemonic actions of Buddhist groups are validated. These constructions serve to restrict the religious (and socio-cultural) mobility of Buddhists, and to legitimise the persecution of Christians through both legislative and violent means. Sensitivity to the effects of self-Orientalism reveals the need for more critical readings of the effects of religious protectionism on both the Christian other, and the national self as well.
Buddhist hegemony, evangelical Christianity, Religious conversio, n religious mobility, self-Orientalism, Sri Lanka
Asian Studies | Religion
Elsevier / Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
WOODS, Orlando Sebastian Isambard.(2017). (Re)producing Buddhist hegemony in Sri Lanka: Advancing the discursive formations of self-Orientalism, religious (im)mobility and 'unethical' conversion. Religion, , 1-21.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2425
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