Thai Buddhism, however, is not a mere reflection of the message found in the Pali canon. While some monks may be well versed in certain parts of the canon, most monks are engaged in a variety of creative practices that have become part of the unique nature of Thai Buddhism. Buddhism in Thailand reflects complex traditions of beliefs that have woven themselves into something scholars now generally refer to as a syncretic pattern. Over the years, with varying success, scholars have struggled to make sense of the so-called canonical tradition and the religious practices found at the village level. They have tried to rationalize the presence, persistence, and coexistence of “magical” practices, animistic belief, and Hindu influences found in the Thai landscape. One part of this website will attempt to map out an evolution of scholarship on Thai religion — the development of traditions within circles of Western scholars trying to come to grips with this larger complex of Thai religious practices that can now be called Thai Buddhism. Naturally, some of these scholarly approaches now appear a bit amusing.

Let’s not open this can of worms just yet...

 
Move Along...