By Jane Bunnag
Such a lot anthropological and sociological reviews of Buddhism have focused on village and rural Buddhism. this can be a systematic anthropological learn of monastic association and monk-layman interplay in a simply city context within the nations the place Theravada Buddhism is practised, specifically, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, Laos and Thailand. the fabric offered is predicated on fieldwork conducted in Ayutthaya, relevant Thailand. Dr Bunnag describes and analyses the socio-economic and formality kin present among the monk and the lay group, and she or he demonstrates the best way the function of the monk is utilized by a few males, wittingly or in a different way, as a social stepping-stone, in that for the son of a farmer a interval within the monkhood promises the schooling and contacts essential to facilitate his assimilation into the city lay group at a social and fiscal point which might differently were most unlikely. eventually, Dr Bunnag areas the cloth awarded in a broader theoretical context by way of reviewing it when it comes to anthropological discussions in regards to the nature of Thai society as an entire.
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Extra info for Buddhist Monk, Buddhist Layman: A Study of Urban Monastic Organization in Central Thailand
29 29 See article in Thai in the journal Sangkhomsatporithat (The Social Science Review) by S. Siwaraksa on the causes and implications of the differences existing between the two sects (Special Edition no. 4, August 1966 (Social Sciences Press, Bangkok), p. 89). 27 Buddhist mon\^ Buddhist layman Monks of the two sects cannot perform rituals pertaining to disciplinary affairs together because of the stricter interpretation of the Word of the Buddha which is followed by the Thammayuti\a sect. Nevertheless, Mahani\ai and Thammayuti\a monks can jointly officiate at merit-making rituals performed at some layman's invitation.
It is quite remarkable that boisterous young men assume at least the outward trappings of their new role immediately and without selfconsciousness on being ordained. 9 In the context of interaction between a member of the Sangha and a person belonging to the lay community the status superiority of the former over the latter is acknowledged by numerous linguistic usages; in such a situation both monks and laymen use special terms of address and selfreference to express their awareness of the spiritual disparity which exists between them.
THE MONKLY ROLE One of the most significant differences between a monk and his lay counterpart is that sexual activity of any kind is forbidden him on pain of immediate expulsion from the Order. 1 It was my impression that the members of the Thai Sangha adhered very closely to this rule of celibacy and few cases of its alleged infraction came to my hearing. Aside from their intrinsic human interest, these stories were of value in that they illustrated the reluctance both of members of the lay community and of the ecclesiastical authorities to take the responsibility of bringing disgrace upon any bhi\\hu - and by extension to the Sangha as a whole 1 Over 27% of my informants in Ayutthaya monasteries had been married.