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Grant number like: FB-52350-06

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John C. Holt
Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME 04011-8447)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
12/1/2006 – 8/31/2007

Buddhism and Political Change in Laos

To address the dearth of American and European academic research focused on Buddhism and religious culture in Laos, I will write an accessible monograph consisting of two parts: 1), a concise historical narrative of the politics and religion of the Lan Xang kingdom (14th-19th c.), the consequences of French colonization for Laotian Buddhism (19th c.-1950s), and the deleterious impact of the American military and CIA presence (1955-75) on the Buddhist monastic sangha; 2), an analytical study of the formulation and failure of a Marxist Buddhism by the Pathet Lao, the concommitant suppression of deity veneration, and the transformations of the Buddhist sangha now occuring as Laos opens itself to the world of tourism and western influences.