The emergence of an historiographical tradition in Ceylon was caused by the importance of an unbroken succession of ordinations in the Sangha for the survival of Theravada Buddhism and by the emergence of the Sinhalese nation. One of the main factors of this nation-building process was the acceptance of Buddhism as the national religion. The survival of Buddhism depended on the state of the Sangha. History of Theravada Sangha is largely a history of efforts towards monastic reforms, and most reforms were implemented by the worldly power. The description of Asoka's religious politics in Sinhalese chronicles laid a basis for state-Sangha relations. Political thinking shows a dualism of ideological concepts based on religious values and of a tradition of practical political science. The impact of historical factors in the development of Sangha structures becomes visible from a comparison of these structures is the predominantly Buddhist countries and in the Buddhist minority community in Bengal. In this context, recent changes in state-Sangha within society, and the interrelations of Buddhism and popular cults can be analyzed as a result of the interaction of ideological, historical and political factors.

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