Monasteries The Places of Reproduction of Violence in The Name of Compassion

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Jesada Buaban


Buddhist monasteries have been claimed as peaceful places and monks do not support the violent approaches. These claims are falsified by this research, which focuses on the violence in Buddhist temples, where monks treat novices cruelly, in many cases. Two questions are raised namely; how has Theravada Buddhism interpreted to serve the violence? And what kind of violence can be found in the monasteries nowadays? Ethnographical methodology was conducted in many provinces of Southern Thailand. The researcher, as a monk, has been staying with those novices for 18 years. It finds that Thai Buddhism is interpreted as utilitarianism to serve the dictator monks who take care of novices. Many kinds of violence such as verbal, physical, and sexual harassments can be done in the name of the compassionate protectors who punish for the success of his pupils. Though many abbots are compassionate, they are too old to take care of young novices. The power is, in fact, used by secretary monks who have responsibility in educating novices. In consequence, abbots cannot help when novices are harassed. This phenomenon clearly reveals the failure of gerontocracy in Thai monastic administration. At the same time, many novices still choose to live in the temples because their families are also in the problems. Violence in religious area is always ignored, while its intensity is not less than the worldly sphere.

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Buaban, J. (2019). Monasteries: The Places of Reproduction of Violence in The Name of Compassion. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 5(2), 160–174. Retrieved from
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