Gananath Obeyesekere

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Gananath Obeyesekere (born February 2, 1930) is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and has done much work in his home country of Sri Lanka.


  • Sri Lankan monks and educated laypersons found the Western interpretation of Buddhism especially appealing in their fight against the Protestant and Catholic missions. Soon the indigenous scholarship, strongly influenced by Western critical methods, carried on into the present day a rational view of Buddhism, treating the mythic, cultic, devotional elements as inessential to the religion, as accretions or interpolations superadded to a pristine, pure form of Buddhism. Concomitantly, the folk beliefs of ordinary peasants were viewed as animism, or superstitions, unworthy of the rational theosophy of old religion. 25
    • quoted from Quoted from Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (Princeton, N.J.). (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines

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