This book is the first to critically analyze Buddhist-Muslim relations in Theravada Buddhist majority states in South and Southeast Asia. Asia is home to the largest population of Buddhists and Muslims. In recent years, this interfaith communal living has incurred conflicts, such as the ethnic-religious conflicts in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Experts from around the world collaborate to provide a comprehensive look into religious pluralism and religious violence.
The book is divided into two sections. The first section provides historical background to the three countries with the largest Buddhist-Muslim relations. The second section has chapters that focus on specific encounters between Buddhists and Muslims, which includes anti-Buddhist sentiments in Bangladesh, the role of gender in Muslim-Buddhist relations and the rise of anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya sentiments in Myanmar.
By exploring historical fluctuations over time—paying particular attention to how state-formations condition Muslim-Buddhist entanglements—the book shows the processual and relational aspects of religious identity constructions and Buddhist-Muslim interactions in Theravada Buddhist majority states.
Iselin Frydenlund is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of MF CASR at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society. She is a specialist of religion and conflict in South and Southeast Asia and has published extensively on issues relating to Buddhism, politics, nationalism and violence in the contemporary period.
Michael Jerryson is a Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University, USA. He is the Director of the James Dale Ethics Center. Jerryson has authored or edited numerous books and articles. His recent monograph is If You Meet the Buddha: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence (2018).