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Pages Published online: 26 Sep Article Metrics Views. Article metrics information Disclaimer for citing articles. Nirvana for Sale?

By Rachelle M. In the popular Western imagination, as well as in the minds of many people residing in Buddhist Asia, one of the truly quintessential aspects of Buddhism is that it is a tradition that fundamentally rejects materialism and the accumulation of ample wealth. Rachelle M. Scott's impressive recent book, Nirvana for Sale?

Wat Phra Dhammakaya

One of the principle reasons that this sort of viewpoint is problematic, Scott persuasively argues throughout the book, is that it tends to rest on positing an ahistorical, decontextualized definition of the parameters of "authentic" Buddhism, and then judging complex real world phenomena against this standard. Thus, while a considerable portion of the book is concerned with laying out a history of the Dhammakaya movement in Thailand and the controversies that afflicted it in the late s, the aim of the book actually concerns the considerably more ambitious project of investigating the nature of the complex relationship between wealth and piety in the Buddhist tradition.

The synopsis reads: Explores the relationship between material prosperity and spirituality in contemporary Thai Buddhism.

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