The Mandala State in Pre-British Sri Lanka: The Cosmographical Terrain of Contested Sovereignty in the Theravada Buddhism Tradition

de Silva-Wijeyeratne, R. 2014. The Mandala State in Pre-British Sri Lanka: The Cosmographical Terrain of Contested Sovereignty in the Theravada Buddhism Tradition. in: Wagner, A. and Sherwin, R.K. (ed.) Law, Culture and Visual Studies New York Springer.

Chapter titleThe Mandala State in Pre-British Sri Lanka: The Cosmographical Terrain of Contested Sovereignty in the Theravada Buddhism Tradition
Authorsde Silva-Wijeyeratne, R.
EditorsWagner, A.
Sherwin, R.K.
Abstract

What I do here is to explore the aesthetic reproduction of Buddhist sovereignty in pre-British Sri Lanka. My argument points to an inherent tension between the virtual sovereignty that characterizes the claims that Buddhist kingship makes, and the actuality of a decentralized bureaucratic State that was a feature of the Buddhist polities that emerged in the shadow of the Asokan phase of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BCE. Our understanding of sovereignty in Theravada Buddhism owes much to the period of Emperor Asoka’s rule as well as Canonical texts such as the Agganna Sutta (The Discourse on What is Primary) and the Cakkavatti Sihanada Sutta (The Lions Roar of the Wheel-Turning Emperor), and the 4th century BCE text on Hindu statecraft the Arthashastra.

KeywordsBuddhist sovereignty, mandala state, galactic polity
Book titleLaw, Culture and Visual Studies
Year2014
PublisherSpringer
Publication dates
Published04 Aug 2014
Place of publicationNew York
ISBN9789048193219

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