Buddhist Monastery: A Cross-Cultural Survey, Theby Pierre Pichard and François Lagirarde
Co-published with École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
Paperback, Black and white illustration throughout., maps
What is a Buddhist monastery? We might define it as a long-term residence of monastics, whether monks or nuns. But even this basic definition fails to cover the whole Buddhist world. There are ritual centres considered to be monasteries where no monks reside, for instance in the Newar community of Nepal. Here married Buddhist followers, having received temporary ordination as young boys, live around but not inside their monastery and are collectively in charge of its maintenance, rituals and activities. Furthermore, in all periods and regions the scale of the monastery has varied considerably, from many hectares to a single building, from several hundred monks sharing the great monasteries of China and Japan or the royal monasteries of Bangkok, to the single caretaker monk of a Bhutanese or Singhalese village monastery.
This book is the result of an international research program conducted by the Bangkok branch of the École française d’Extrême-Orient between 1997 and 2003. The simple and straightforward title belies the uniqueness of the work, for this is the only comprehensive study presenting a clear geographical and historical overview of Buddhist monasteries throughout Asia, especially Southeast Asia, and particularly in Thailand.
Designed to provide a precise description of the architectural, social and religious organization of places of worship and monastic residence, The Buddhist Monastery is an essential work of reference for both students and scholars.
Buddhism | architecture | culture | monastic life | archeology