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Title : Religion and Politics in Sri Lanka
Author : Urmila Phadnis
Edition : HardBack
ISBN : 9788194496281
Pages : 387
Year of Pub : 2020
Price : Rs 1,495.00
"This study attempts to analyse the interaction between the religious and political systems in Sri Lanka over the past 2,500 years since Buddhism was introduced in the island. It traces the evolution of the Sinhalese Buddhist system and its relationship with the sources of political power from the early era of Kandyan kingdoms through the colonial rule of the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British, right up to the contemporary period.
Against this background, the author appraises the structure and func­tions of the Sangha in order to identify the continuities and discontinuities
in the religious system and assesses the impact of the dominant social, economic and political factors on it in different periods of history. She also examines the role of the professional elites in electoral politics and their influence on the religious policies of various political parties since the country achieved independence in 1948.
Based on Sinhalese and English sources and on extensive interviews with both the Bhikkus and the lay leaders in Sri Lanka, the work is the first in-depth probe into the role of Bhikkus as pressure groups in the formulation and implementation of cultural, economic, political and foreign policies.
Finally, the study evaluates the changes in the religious system itself because of its involvement in secular affairs. It also spells out the cha­l-lenges confronting the monastic order in modern Sri Lanka and its varied responses in the context of similar dilemmas facing the professional religious elites in the ‘third-world’ countries."

About the Author
"Born in 1931, Urmila Phadnis got her Ph.D. from Benares Hindu University in 1961. She joined the Indian Council of World Affairs in 1956 and later the Indian School of International Studies in 1960. After Jawaharlal Nehru University was set up the ISIS became part of the University. She retired as Professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Besides this book and a large number of articles in academic journals she also published Towards the Integration of Indian States 1919-1947."


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