Author: Alexandra R Kapur Fic
Publisher: Abhinav Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170173604
The book develops two major themes. The first theme attempts to understand the sources of value orientation of the Thai people, and their individual and group behaviour. To this end the study examines three major value systems and their institutions, as well as their mutual relationship and interaction.
As the first value system, the study examines the Theravada Buddhism as founded by the Buddha, then focuses on its application in Thailand, on Buddhist ethics and morality, on the conflicts between some aspects of Buddhism and the rapidly changing society and, finally, on various movements attempting to reform Buddhism in that country.
As the second major value system, the study examines the role which animism and the spirit worship play in the daily life of the Thai people, their symbolism, and their fusion with Buddhism and its values and institutions at the grassroot level of the society.
As the third value system, the study discusses various theories which attempt to explain the psycho-cultural values and attitudes of the Thai people, how these interact with Buddhism and animism, and how they add another dimension to the already complex pattern of social behaviour. These three value systems interact and define the parameters within which all aspects of the national life political, cultural, economic and others are actualized.
The second major theme of the book concentrates on the position of women in Thailand. It begins with the explanation of the attitudes which the Buddha himself held towards the women, examines the status of women in early Buddhist societies and of those women who chose to renounce the world and join the Buddhist Order to seek personal salvation, as well as the role of the lay women in a Buddhist society at that time. The book then focuses on the position of women in the Thai society through various stages of its history, and culminates in the discussion of the legal position of women today and the attempts to improve their status. However, in treating the latter subject the study is descriptive rather than prescriptive, leaving it to the Thai women themselves to decide which remedies to pursue to improve their position.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
CHAPTER I - THE SETTING
The Thai Society
Buddhism and Evolution of Its Doctrines
Buddhism in Thailand
Animism and Spirit Worship
Ethics, Morality, Wealth and Salvation in Buddhism
Women in Early Suddhism
Women and Buddhism in Thailand
The Thai Psycho-Cultural