Northwestern Events Calendar


Benjamin Schonthal: Reimagining the Buddhist State: Buddhism, monasticism and the limits of law in Sri Lanka

When: Thursday, October 13, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Gina Giliberti  

Group: Global Politics and Religion Research Group

Co-Sponsor: Department of Political Science
Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Category: Academic


Like approximately half of the world’s basic laws, Sri Lanka’s constitution gives preferential status to the country’s majority religion, Buddhism. While this arrangement seems to place public law in the service of Buddhism, what have been the actual, legal effects on the lives of individual Buddhists? This talk considers this question and uses Sri Lanka as a case study for thinking more broadly about the nature and effects of religious supremacy clauses in constitutions around the world.
Ben Schonthal is Senior Lecturer in Buddhism and Asian Religions at the University of Otago, in New Zealand. He teaches and writes about the intersections of religion, law and politics in South and Southeast Asia. His first book, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law will appear with Cambridge University Press in October 2016.

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