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Dust on the Throne: The Search for Buddhism in Modern India


Received wisdom has it that Buddhism disappeared from the land of its origin between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, long forgotten until British colonial scholars rediscovered it in the early 1800s. Its full-fledged revival, the story goes, occurred in 1956, when the Indian constitutionalist and civil rights pioneer, Dr B.R. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism along with half a million of his Dalit followers. Dust on the Throne provides a radically new perspective on what has long been called India’s modern Buddhist revival.

Through extensive examination of disparate materials held in archives and temples across South Asia, Douglas Ober explores Buddhist religious dynamics through the course of expanding colonial empires, intra-Asian connectivity, and the intellectual pursuits of nineteenth and twentieth century Indian thinkers. Dust on the Throne recovers the integral role of lesser-known anti-caste activists and Buddhist monastics in the making of modern global Buddhism. It also accounts for the powerful influence Buddhism exerted in shaping modern Indian history.

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Bibliographic information

Title Dust on the Throne: The Search for Buddhism in Modern India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 28.03.2023
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788195539291
length 392p.,