An Introduction: Buddhist–Muslim Relations in a Theravada World



The Introduction offers a broad historical overview of Buddhist–Muslim relations in Buddhist majority states in South and Southeast Asia, showing in important ways the historical fluctuations of Buddhist–Muslim interactions and how they have been informed by trade networks, state formations and imperial policies of cultural difference. Attention is paid to both similarities and differences across the Theravada states analysed in this study, with particular focus on the importance of modern/colonial legacies for religious dynamics in the present. Also, the Introduction invites to theoretical reflections on the nature of cultural and religious encounters; how we as scholars can analyse co-existence, processes of appropriation, and boundary transgression, but also boundary-making, homogenization and “purification” between cultural groups that self-identity as Muslim and Buddhist.


Theravada Buddhist majority states Muslim minorities State formations Cultural encounters Inter-religious relations Buddhist–Muslim co-existence 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and SocietyOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesYoungstown State UniversityYoungstownUSA

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