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Monks With Guns: Discovering Buddhist Violence

• ReligionDispatches
During my visits between 2006 and 2008, southern Thai monks shared the challenges of living in their fear-infested communities. All but a few concentrated on survival; peacemaking was the last thing on their minds.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

Not to mention that the entire Himalayan region was until very recently a feudal system. The various schools of Buddhism clashed in major clonflict for centuries. Or did someone forget that even H.H. The Dalai Llama used to have an army? A hereditary army? The Khambas. When war on horseback was the fashion, these guys were truly slayers.

A rhetorical question. Nobody forgot, it just seems some liberals never knew to begin with. I just love it how they sell books either way---first in taking part in the misperception and second by helping "expose" it.

Comment by Chip Saunders
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 While this is indeed a useful and revealing article, to those of us who have studied Martial Arts and other related Eastern systems, this is nothing new. When I studied Shoalin Kung Fu at age 11 in the late 70's, it was explained to me then how the asian military arts had evolved out of necessity, as a result of early victim disarmament laws and edicts that pre-date modern gun-control by centuries. The history of martial arts is actually the history of disarmed rebellion against the state. Shoalin, specifically, was developed by a sect of buddist monks concerned about being erradicated by genocidal purge. Is it any wonder then that buddists are in touch with the sometimes necessary application of violence?


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