Sacred Protests and Buddhist Environmental Knowledge
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An unknown assailant stabbed the Thai monk, Phra Supoj Suvacano, to death at his meditation center in June 2005. The monk was an active member of Sekhiyadhamma, an informal organization of socially engaged monks, and was involved in trying to protect the land around the meditation center where he lived in Chiang Mai province from being converted into a tangerine plantation. At first glance, the case seems to be a straightforward instance of land conflict. Put into the broader context of a growing number of monks engaged in environmental activism, the strength of the Thai environmental movement, and the numerous problems the case has encountered, however, Phra Supoj’s assassination can be seen as evidence of complex tensions between Buddhist monks engaged in environmentalism and the secular state.
KeywordsPublic Protest Buddhist Monk Tree Ordination Thai Society Divinity School
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