The Mis/Appropriation of Buddhist Hierarchy in Myanmar
Buddhism, the major religion in Myanmar, was appropriated since its inception as the unifying principle for national solidarity. Buddhist hierarchy therefore is influential to the society. However, this appropriation has turned out to be manipulation in the postcolonial period. Buddhist hierarchy has been used as a political tool to dominate both the Buddhist and the non-Buddhist. The misappropriation often resulted in undesirable and even tragic incidents such as misunderstanding, violence, and murders.
Minority Christians have made efforts to do interfaith dialouges in their attempt to end the so-called religious conflicts. The proposed principle is the sameness of the different religions. This article appreciates “sameness” but does not see “differences,” or even religious hierarchy, as the main problem. The problem lies in misappropiration of religions. The remedy therefore is liberation of religions. With this insight, this article calls for a life-together in religious diversity and a renewed emphasis of practicing “love.”
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