SOAS University of London

Centre of Buddhist Studies

The life and literary work of the female Buddhist practitioner Khunying Yai Damrongthammasan (1886-1944): Questions of authorship in modern Thai Buddhism

Dr Martin Seeger (Leeds)

Date: 20 February 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 20 February 2014Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Kamran Djam Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture


In order to explore conceptions of authorship in the context of modern (Theravada) Buddhist literature, I will discuss the history and background of the Thai Buddhist text Dhammānudhammapaṭipatti (Practice in Perfect Conformity with the Dhamma). This text has widely been regarded as an outstanding and profound piece of Thai Buddhist literature. Its authorship has been attributed to Luang Pu Man Bhūridatto (1870-1949), the founder of the Thai Forest Tradition, but was, in fact, as recent research demonstrated (see BBC news article), authored by the female Buddhist practitioner Khunying Yai Damrongthammsan (1886-1944).


From 1997-2000 Dr Seeger was ordained as a Buddhist monk in northern Thailand and subsequently earned his MA and doctorate in Thai Studies at the University of Hamburg. Much of his research focuses on the life and work of the Thai Buddhist thinkers Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-1993), Phra Payutto (b. 1939), Khunying Yai Damrongthammasan (1886-1944) and Khun Mae Bunruean Tongbuntoem (1895-1964). He has also done research on development monks in the northeastern region of Thailand and continues to work on "female saints in Thai Buddhism". At the moment, he works on a research project with the title "Hagiographical Processes and Religious Symbolism in Modern Thai Buddhism."

Organiser: Dr. Vincent Tournier

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