Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Somparn Promta

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The influence of Buddhism on Thai society seems to be obvious. However, the matter of the influence is usually considered in terms of cultural dimension rather than in terms of ideology. In this paper Buddhism will be considered as an ideology. The abstraction as expressed through many kinds of cultural manifestation such as dancing, literature, fine arts and so on is a thing we call an influence in the cultural dimension. But when we speak of an influence in the ideological dimension, there is a difference. Certainly, Buddhism at least in its early form could be viewed as ideology in a sense that it has some basic beliefs that determine the view on life and the world of the believer. For example, suffering of life and the world is one of the basic concepts in Buddhist philosophy. Buddhists, who have profound wisdom through religious practice, hope to share the view that life and the world in their eyes is suffering in itself for them. This ideology will determine for them how to live in the worlds.

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