The Role of Buddhism in Society and Radical Buddhist Mobilization: An Explorative Study of Young Monks in Sri Lanka
Radical Buddhist mobilization in post-war Sri Lanka is taking place in an international context where religious groups are gaining a lot of attention in for instance media and by political leaders as well as by researchers. The aim of this thesis was to explore young monks’ perceptions of the role of Buddhism in society and on radical Buddhist mobilization in Sri Lanka by specifically looking at perception of threats, protection of Buddhism, and cases of religious intolerance and violence. The material was collected through interviews with young monks in Sri Lanka. The contribution of this study provides an account on the monks’ views which gives us a first insight into issues they reflect upon which may be relevant in relation to Sri Lanka’s social development. The material is discussed in relation to discourses within International Relations research which in a mutual way situates the material in a theoretical context and contributes to these discourses by discussing them in relation to the material. Also, one source of perceived threats less pronounced in previous research was found which concerns ways Buddhists and monks themselves can threaten the role of Buddhism in the Sri Lankan society. In conclusion, elements of fear exist among some of the monks which should be addressed as it may have a decisive role on the future development.