This thesis analyzes the competition and authoritative conflict between the Dhammakāya movement and the monastic elite in Thailand that climaxed in the late 1990's. The Dhammakāya controversy played out in the public arena as the Thai Sangha elite actively worked against the movement to protect its authority over Thai Buddhism and maintain its access to resources provided by followers. This thesis traces the course of the conflict, analyzes the reasons for the conflict, and finds that the Dhammakāya movement successfully navigated the controversy specifically because of the mass support it accumulated through particular uncommon teachings and practices. These teachings and practices became the focal points for the controversy while alternately contributing to the movement's popularity. This thesis aims to increase understanding of emerging modern religious movements and the conflicts they face using the Dhammakāya movement in Thailand as an example.
|School:||Arizona State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 48/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
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