IRG: Tyler Lehrer on Monks, Ministers, & Virtuous Kings- Apr 29

Time: 29 April 2020 | 4:00-5:30p

Location: Zoom Virtual Meeting  |  For access, please email David Schulz at

Monks, Ministers, and Virtuous Kings: Stories of Buddhist Lineage Transmission in Dutch Colonial Southern Asia

Recent decades have been marked by intense debate in parts of Southeast and South Asia about the utility of Buddhist histories for marking categories of belonging and difference, constituting political allegiance, and engendering moments of interreligious and interethnic acrimony and violence. Dr. Tyler Lehrer presents on how a number of understudied nineteenth and early twentieth–century popular histories of Buddhist migration in the eighteenth–century Indian Ocean region have become operationalized as sources of religious and state power.


With a background in religious studies and gender studies (MA 2016, University of Colorado, Boulder), Tyler A. Lehrer is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research and teaching broadly engage the religious history of the early modern Indian Ocean region. His ongoing dissertation research considers the networked exchange of Buddhist monastic lineages between what are now Sri Lanka and Thailand in the eighteenth century as possibilities for maritime religious connection were both constrained and facilitated by European Company-States.




Watch the video here

1 thought on “IRG: Tyler Lehrer on Monks, Ministers, & Virtuous Kings- Apr 29”

  1. The caption on this temple painting, photographed at the Malwatta Mahā Vihāra (the “Great Flower Garden Monastery”) in Kandy, Sri Lanka:

    සන්‍යාසි බමුණාගේ පැමිණීම, ශ්ලෝකයේ අර්ථ විමසීම හා,
    පිළිතුරු දීමට නොහැකි වූ ගණින්නාන්සේලා
    වටාපතින් මුහුණ වසා නිහඬව සිටි වගයි෴෴෴


    “With the coming of an ascetic Brahmin [a high-caste Hindu priest], the Ganninanses [non-ordained Buddhist ritual specialists] were unable to reply to his interpretation of the ślokas [Hindu/Buddhist teachings in verse form]. They hid their faces behind Palmyra palm leaf fans and remained silent.”

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