Partially Annotated Bibliography of Thai Buddhism

Alabaster, Henry
The Wheel of the Law: Buddhism Illustrated from Siamese Sources. London: Trübner & Co., 1871. Access here.
A classic, vital source for information on Siamese embellishments of the life of the Buddha.

Amara Pongsapich (editor)
Traditional and Changing Thai World View. Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Press, 1997.

Andaya, Barbara
“Statecraft in the Reign of Lu Tai of Sukodaya.” The Cornell Journal of Social Relations. Special Issue on Southeast Asian Studies 6:1 (Spring 1971), 61-68.

Anuman Rajadhon, Phya
Essays on Thai Folklore. Bangkok: Social Science Association Press of Thailand, 1968.
A very rich, accessible book on Thai customs, beliefs and folklore.

Popular Buddhism in Siam and Other Essays on Thai Studies.
Bangkok: Thai Inter-religious Commission on Development and Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, 1986.

Apinya Fuengfusakul
“Empire of Crystal and Utopian Commune: Two types of Contemporary Reform in Thailand.” Sojourn 8:1 (February 1993), 153-183.

Appleton, Naomi
Jataka Stories in Theravada Buddhism: Narrating the Bodhisatta Path. Surrey: Ashgate, 2010.

Baker, Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit (translators)
The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen. Illustrated by Muangsing Janchai. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2010.

Bapat, P. V. (editor)
2500 Years of Buddhism. Delhi: The Publications Division, 1959.

Barva, Rabindra Bijay
The Theravada Sangha (The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh Foundation No. 32). Dalla: Asiatic Society, 1978.

Bhagvat, Durga N.
Early Buddhist Jurisprudence (Theravada Vinaya-Laws). Poona: Oriental Book Agency, 1939.

Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies (5.1)

(Maha) Boowa Nanasampanno
Amata Dhamma: Six Talks on Dhamma. Bangkok: Pow Powana Foundation, 1980.

The Venerable Phra Acharn Mun Bhuridatta Thera
. Bangkok: Funny Publishing, 1982.

Bechert, Heinz
“Theravada Buddhist Sangha: Same General Observations on Historical and Political Factors in its Development.” Journal of Asian Studies 24:4 (August 1970), 761-778.

Benz, Ernst
“The Buddhist Renaissance in Siam.” Visakha Puja 2512 (1969), 107-112.

Brereton, Bonnie & Somroay Yencheuy
Buddhist Murals of Northeast Thailand: Reflections of the Isan Heartland. Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 2010.

Brown, Sid
The Journey of One Buddhist Nun: Even Against the Wind. New York: SUNY Press, 2001.

Brummelhuis, Han ten & Kemp, Jeremy H. (editors)
Strategies and Structures in Thai Society. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, 1984.

Brun, Viggo
Sug, the Trickster who Fooled the Monk. A Northern Thai Tale with Vocabulary. Lund: CINA Monograph Series 27, 1976.

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
Christianity and Buddhism. Sinclair Thompson Lecture Series. Bangkok: Sublime Life Mission, 1967 (?).

No Religion. Bangkok: Sublime Life Mission, [no date].

Anapanasati (Mindfulness of Breathing): The Sixteen Steps to Awakening. Translated by Bhikkhu Nagasena. Bangkok: Sublime Life Mission, 2514/1971.

Two Kinds of Language: Dharmic Language and Human Language. Translated by Ariyananda Bhikkhu. Bangkok: Siva Phorn, 1974.

Why Were We Born? Translator not listed. Bangkok: Pranakorn Printing, 1977.

Handbook for Mankind [Khumu manut]. Bangkok: Pranakorn Printing, 1980.

Paticcasamuppada: Dependent Causation. Translated by Steven Schmidt. Bangkok: Sublime Life Mission, 1986.

Dhammic Socialism. Translated and edited by Donald Swearer. Bangkok: Thai Inter-religious Commission on Development, 1986.

Me and Mine: Selected Essays of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa. Donald K. Swearer, ed. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989.

Buddhagosha, Bhadantacariya
The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga). Translated by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1975.

Buddhism in the 80’s: Surviving the Modern Age (Old Faith for a New Age).” Asia Week, March 12, 1982, 28-35.

Blofeld, John
The World of Buddhism: A Pictorial Presentation. Bangkok: The Siam Society, 1980.
This well-illustrated work is an excellent introduction to contemporary Thai Buddhism.

Bobilin, Robert
Revolution from Below: Buddhist and Christian Movements for Justice in Asia: Four Case Studies from Thailand and Sri Lanka. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988.
This volume deals with several grassroots and non-government organizations (NGOs) that are involved in applying their ideas in community development. The book especially focuses on the role of religion in development.

Bunnag, Jane
Buddhist Monk, Buddhist Layman: A Study of Urban Monastic Organization in Central Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.

Cha, Achan
A Taste of Freedom. Bangkok: Funny Press, 1982.

Chatsumarn Kabilsingh
Thai Buddhist Women. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1991.
This brief volume introduces the reader to the roles and teachings of some women and Buddhist “nuns.”

Collins, Steven
Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Conze, Edward
Buddhism: Its Essence and Development. New York: Harper and Row, 1959.

Cook, Joanna
Meditation in Modern Buddhism: Renunciation and Change in Thai Monastic Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Damrong Rajanubhab
Monuments of the Buddha in Siam. Bangkok: Siam Society, 1978.

Darlington, Susan M.
“The Good Buddha and the Fierce Spirits: Protecting the Northern Thai Forest.” Contemporary Buddhism 8:2 (November 2007), 169-185.

David M. Engel and Jaruwan S. Engel
Tort, Custom, and Karma: Globalization and Legal Consciousness in Thailand. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010.

Davis, Richard B.
Muang Metaphysics: A Study of Northern Thai Myth and Ritual. Bangkok: Pandora, 1984.

(Phra) Devamedhi
“Pali Education in Siam.” Visakha Puja 2507 (1964), 41-42.

(Prince) Dhaninivat Kromamun Bidyalabh
“The Old Siamese Conception of the Monarchy,” in The Siam Society Fiftieth Anniversary Commemorative Publication — Selected Articles for the Siam Society Journal, Vol. 2, Bangkok: Siam Society, 1954, 160-175.

A History of Buddhism in Siam. Bangkok: Siam Society, 1960.

Dissanayake, Piyasena
Political Thoughts of the Buddha. Colombo: Dept. of Cultural Affairs, 1977.

Eberhardt, Nancy
Imagining the Course of Life: Self-Transformation in a Shan Buddhist Community. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 2006.

Embree, John F.
“Thailand: A Loosely Structured Social System.” American Anthropologist 52:2 (1950), 181-193.

Engel, David M. & Jaruwan S. Engel
Tort, Custom, and Karma: Globalization and Legal Consciousness in Thailand. Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 2010 (also Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010).

Eppsteiner, Fred (editor)
The Path of Compassion: Writings on Socially Engaged Buddhism. Rev. 2nd ed. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1988.
This book, showing a modern trend in Buddhism, sets out the perspectives of a number of Buddhist teachers — from, for example, Thailand, the US, Sri Lanka and Vietnam — who are attempting to apply Buddhist doctrine to “engaged” social action.

Ever, Hans-Dieter
Loosely Structured Social Systems: Thailand in Comparative Perspective. New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asian Studies, 1969.

Essen, Juliana
“Right Development”: The Santi Asoke Buddhist Movement of Thailand. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005.

Falk, Monica Lindberg
Making Fields of Merit: Buddhist Female Ascetics and Gendered Orders in Thailand. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.

Forsyth, Tim & Walker, Andrew
Forest Guardians, Forest Destroyers: The Politics of Environmental Knowledge in Northern Thailand. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.

Gard, Richard A.
Buddhist Political Thought: A Study of Buddhism in Society. Bangkok: Mahamakuta University Lectures, 1956.

Gesick, Lorraine
“Kingship and the Political Integration in Traditional Siam, 1767-1824.” Ph.D. dissertation. Cornell University, 1976.

In the Land of Lady White Blood: Southern Thailand and the Meaning of History. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program Pulications, Cornell University, 1995.

Gerini, G. E.
“Good News From Mahathera Samagam (The Sangha Supreme Council).” Visakha Puja 2525 (1972), 46-47.

A Retrospective View and Account of The Origin of the Thet Maha Chat Ceremony (Maha Jati Desana) or Exposition of the Tale of the Great Birth as Performed in Siam. Bangkok: Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, 1976.

Gray, Christine E.
“Hegemonic Images: Language and Silence in the Royal Thai Polity.” Man 26 (March 1991), 43-65.
This article discusses the use of various religious symbols and rituals by royalty.

Group of the Defenders of the Security of Buddhism
The Catholic Plot Against Buddhism. Bangkok: Siva Phorn, 1986.

Grow, Mary
“Celebrating Divine Wrath: The Spirit Cult of Luang Phau Phra Cao Sua, The Tiger King.” Crossroads 16:1 (2002), 1-18.

Hanks, Lucien
“Merit and Power in the Thai Social Order.” American Anthropologist 64 (1962), 1247-1261.
This classic article describes the Thai spiritual outlook as primarily based on a hierarchy of merit. Tambiah and Kirsch subsequently expand upon this “complexity” in their works.

Heikkilä-Horn, Marja-Leena
Santi Asoke Buddhism and Thai State Response. Turku: Åbo Akademi University Press, 1996.
Santi Asoke Buddhism and Thai State Response analyses the conflict between Santi Asoke the Thai state by studying the relationship between Buddhism and politics in Thailand, and the differences between Santi Asoke and mainstream Buddhism.

Heine-Geldern, Robert
Conceptions of State and Kingship in Southeast Asia. Cornell Data Paper No. 18. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, April 1958.

Heinze, Ruth-Inge
The Role of the Sangha in Modern Thailand. Taipei: Orient Cultural Service, 1977.

Tham Khwan: How to Contain the Essence of Life. A Socio-psychological Comparison of a Thai Custom. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1982.

His Majesty King Rama the Fourth Mongkut. Bangkok: Siva Phorn, 2511 [1968].

Huxley, Andrew (editor)
Thai Law: Buddhist Law — Essays on the Legal History of Thailand, Laos, and Burma. Bangkok: White Orchid, 1996.

Isaree Baedcharoen
“Impacts of Religious Tourism in Thailand.” MA thesis, University of Otago, 2000.

Ishii, Yoneo

Ecclesiastical Examination in Thailand. Discussion Paper 11. Kyoto: The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 1971.

Sangha, State and Society:Thai Buddhism in History. Translated by Peter Hawkes. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986.
This volume shows how the Thai Buddhist Sangha came to play a crucial role in the formation of a Buddhist polity in Thailand and contains some helpful information on the ecclesiastical system of education.

Jackson, Peter
Buddhadasa: A Buddhist Thinker for the Modern World. Bangkok: The Siam Society, 1988.
An intellectual examination of the thought of one of the leading contemporary Thai Buddhist thinkers.

Buddhism, Legitimation, and Conflict: The Political Functions of Urban Thai Buddhism. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1989.
This book provides yet another summary of Buddhism and legitimation in Thailand, recapping the character of the Sangha Acts. Jackson’s work is a bit different in that it attempts to argue that some new reformist movements in Thai Buddhism, such as Dhammakaya and Santi Asoke, are class-based phenomena.

Jacobs, Norman
Modernization Without Development: Thailand as an Asian Case Study. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971.

Jayanama, Direck
“Buddhism in Thailand.” Visakha Puja 2504 (1961), 11-19.

Jerryson, Michael & Juergensmeyer, Mark
Buddhist Warfare. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Jones, Robert B.
Thai Titles and Ranks. Data Paper no. 81. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1971.

Jory, Patrick
“The Vessantara Jataka, barami, and the bodhisattva-kings: the origin and spread of a Thai concept of power.” Crossroads 16:2 (2002), 36-78.

Kamala Tiyavanich
Forest Recollections: Wandering Monks in Twentieth-Century Thailand. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997.
The strength of this book is its insight into the unique history, practices, and lives of some prominent wandering monks (phra thudong); the weakness of the book is the author’s polemic (students will call it “attitude”) regarding monolithic views of Thai Buddhism. Anyone who has read the works of Somboon Suksamran or Stanley Tambiah would hardly view Thai Buddism as monolithic — a straw dog if there ever was one. Review:

The Buddha in the Jungle. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004.

Kameniar, Barbara
“Thai Buddhist Women, ‘Bare Life’ and Bravery.” Australian Religion Studies Review (ARSR) 22:3 (2009). Access here.

Katz, Nathan
Buddhist Images of Human Perfection: The Arahant of the Sutta Pitaka Compared with the Bodhisattva and the Mahasiddha. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1982.

Kaufman, Howard
Bangkhuad: A Community Study in Thailand. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1976.

Keyes, Charles F.
“Buddhism and National Integration.” Journal of Asian Studies 30 (1971), 551-568.

“Millennialism, Theravada Buddhism, and Thai Society.” Journal of Asian Studies 36:2 (February 1977), 283-302.

“Economic Action and Buddhist Morality in a Thai Village.” Journal of Asian Studies 42:2 (August 1983).

“Mother or Mistress but Never a Monk: Culture of Gender and Rural Women in Buddhist Thailand,” American Anthropologist 11:2 (1984), 223-241.
This article triggered a debate with A. Thomas Kirsch. See Kirsch’s 1985 response below.

“Death of Two Buddhist Saints in Thailand,” in Charisma and Sacred Biography, Michael Williams, ed. Thematic Series of The Journal of the Academy of Religion, 48:3&4, 149-180.

Thailand: Buddhist Kingdom as Modern Nation-State. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987.
This textbook deals with Thailand’s history, politics, culture, religion, and popular culture.

“Buddhist Politics and Their Revolutionary Origins in Thailand.” International Political Science Review 10:2 (1989), 121-142.
This article suggests that Thai modern religious reform has become “revolutionary” as people have broken free of some of the more traditional and conservative aspects of the monarchy and the monkhood.

Keyes, Charles F. & Valentine, Daniel E.
Karma: An Anthropological Inquiry. London: University of California Press, 1983.

(Phra) Khantipalo
With Robes and Bowl: Glimpses of the Thudong Bhikkhu Life. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1965.

A Criterion of True Religion: Lord Buddha’s Discourse to the Kalama People (Kalama Sutta). Bangkok: Mahamakut Buddhist University Press, 1967.

Buddhism Explained. Bangkok: Mahamakut Buddhist University Press, 2516/1973.

Khin Thitsa
Providence and Prostitution: Image and Reality for Women in Buddhist Thailand. London: Change, 1980.

Kirsch, A. Thomas

Feasting and Social Oscillation: Religion and Society in Upland Southeast Asia. Data Paper 92. Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 1973.

“Economy, Polity, and Religion in Thailand,” in Change and Persistence in Thai Society, William Skinner and A. Thomas Kirsch, eds., 172-196. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975.

“Complexity in the Thai Religious System: An Interpretation.” Journal of Asian Studies 36:2 (February 1977), 241-265.
A classic article deals with the syncretic dimensions of Thai spirituality: a complex of Brahmanism, animism, and Buddhism.

“Modernizing Implications of Nineteenth Century Reforms in the Thai Sangha,” in Religion and Legitimation of Power in Thailand and Burma, Bardwell Smith, ed. Chambersburg: Anima Books, 1978.

“Text and Context: Buddhist Sex-roles/Cultures of Gender Revisited.” American Ethnologist 12:2 (1985).
Up until Keyes published “Mother or Mistress but Never a Monk...,” A. Thomas Kirsch said that he agreed with almost everything Keyes had published before. This article was written as a response to Keyes.

Klausner, William J.
Reflections on Thai Culture. 3rd ed. Bangkok: The Siam Society, 1987.
Major sections deal with village life in Thailand’s Northeast and the role of Buddhism from the perspective of a foreigner who has lived most of his life in Thailand.

Kornfield, Jack
Living Buddhist Masters. Santa Cruz: Unity Press, 1977.
This volume is for students who wish to know the more concrete and practical teachings of some Buddhist masters themselves. Despite its reductionist tendencies, this book still manages to give a good cross-section of Theravada teachings methods by masters from Thailand, Laos and Burma.

A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah. Quest Book 1986.

Kornvipa Boonsue
Buddhism and Gender Bias: An Analysis of a Jataka Tale. Bangkok: Suksit Siam, 1989.
This book constitutes a re-examination of Buddhism to see the extent to which Buddhist wisdom is compatible with feminist wisdom.

Landon, Kenneth Perry
Siam in Transition. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (Originally: University of Chicago Press, 1939).

Lester, Robert C.
Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia. University of Michigan: Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1973.

Lingat, Robert
“Evolution and the Concept of Law in Burma and Siam.” Journal of the Siam Society 38:1 (1950), 9-31.

Mabry, Bevars D.
“Work Behavior in a Buddhist Culture: The Thai Experience.” Journal of Cultural Economics 3:2 (December 1979), 57-73.

Mann, Robert & Youd, Rose
Buddhist Character Analysis. Bradford on Avon: Aukana, 1992.
A fascinating attempt at assessing character from a more general Buddhist perspective.

Marasinghe, M. M. J.
Gods in Early Buddhism: A Study in Their Social and Mythological Milieu as Depicted in the Nikayas of the Pali Canon. Colombo: Vidyalankara Campus Publications, 1974.

McCargo, Duncan
Chamlong Srimuang and the New Thai politics. London and New York: Hurst and St. Martin’s Press, 1997.
Very good information about the Buddhist-influenced governor of Bangkok. Also a good source on the Santi Asoke movement.

“Thai Buddhism, Thai Buddhists and the Southern Conflict.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 40:1 (February 2009), 1-10.

McDaniel, Justin T.
Gathering Leaves & Lifting Words: Histories of Buddhist Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.

Mohr, Thea & Tsedroen, Jampa (editors)
Dignity & Discipline: Reviving Full Ordination for Buddhist Nuns. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2010.

Morgan, F. Bruce
“Vocation of Monk and Layman: Signs of Change in Thai Buddhist Ethics.” Contributions to Asian Studies 4 (1973), 69-77.

Muecke, Marjorie A.
“Monks and Mediums: Religious Syncretism in Northern Thailand.” Journal of the Siam Society 80:2 (1992), 97-104.

“Mother Sold Food, Daughter Sells Her Body: The Cultural Continuity of Prostitution.” Soc. Sci. Med. 35:7 (1992), 891-901.
A very interesting study on the paradox of the presence of Buddhism and prostitution.

Mulder, Niels
Monks, Merit and Motivation: An Exploratory Study of the Social Functions of Buddhism m Processes of Social Change. Special Report Series Number 1, DeKalb: Center for Southeast Asian Studies Northern Illinois University, May 1969.

Everyday Life in Thailand: An Interpretation. Bangkok: Duang Komol Editions, 1978.

“Concepts of Power and Moral Goodness in the Contemporary Thai: Worldview.” Journal of the Siam Society 67:1 (January 1979), 111-131.

Nanayon, Upasika
Pure and Simple: The Buddhist Teachings of a Thai Laywoman. Wisdom Publications, 2005.

Nash, Manning; Gananath Obeyesekere; Michael M. Ames et al.
Anthropological Studies in Theravada Buddhism. Cultural Report Series 13. Yale University Southeast Asian Studies, 1966.

Nyanaponika Thera
The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: A Handbook of Mental Training Based of the Buddha’s Way of Mindfulness. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1962.
A terse classic with a strong base in the Theravada tradition.

O’Connor, Richard
“Interpreting Thai Religious Change: Temples, Sangha Reform and Social Change.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 24:2 (September 1993), 330-339.

Olson, Grant A.
“A Person-Centered Ethnography of Thai Buddhism: The Life of Phra Rajavaramuni (Prayudh Payutto).” PhD dissertation. Cornell University, 1989.

“Cries Over Spilled Holy Water: ‘Complex’ Responses to a Traditional Thai Religious Practice.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 22:1 (1991), 75-85.
This article comments on Kirsch’s notion of “complexity” and analyzes the approaches of three different Buddhist movements and teachers in contemporary Thailand showing how they feel about reformist notions of Buddhism and more traditional practices of pouring holy water.

“Filling the Void: Thai Khwan and Burmese Leip-pya, the Stuff of Which Souls are Made.” In Socially Engaged Spirituality: Essays in Honor of Sulak Sivaraksa on His 70th Birthday. Bangkok: Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, 2003, 271-302.

Parnwell, Michael & Seeger, Martin
“The Relocalization of Buddhism in Thailand.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 15 (2008). Access here.

Pattana Kitiarsa
“Beyond Syncretism: Hybridization of Popular Religion in Contemporary Thailand.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 36:3 (October 2005), 461–487. Access here.

The Patimokkha:
227 Fundamental Rules of a Bhikkhu. Introduction by Phra Sanasa Sobhana; translated by Venerable Ñanamoli Thera. Bangkok: Maha Makuta Buddhist University (Mahamakutarajaviyalaya), 2512/1969.

(Phra) Paisal Visalo
Phutthasatsana Thai nai anakhot naeonom lae thangok chak wikrit [Thai Buddhism in the Future: Tendencies and the Way out of the Crisis]. Bangkok: Sotsi-Saritwong Foundation, 2546/2003.

Pavaresvariyalongkorn, (Sangharaja) Kramaphraya
“A Brief Account of King Mongkut (Rama IV).” Visakha Puja 2513 (1970), 20-30.

Phillips, Herbert P.
Thai Peasant Personality: The Patterning of Interpersonal Behavior in the Village of Bang Chan. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1965.

Modern Thai Literature: An Ethnographic Interpretation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1987.
Contains extensive translations of Thai literature into English.

Piker, Steven
“An Examination of Character and Socialization in a Thai Peasant Community.” Ph.D. dissertation. University of Washington, 1964.

“Buddhism and Modernization in Contemporary Thailand.” Contributions to Asian Studies 4 (1973), 51-67.

Pipob Udomittipong & Walker, Chris (editors)
Socially Engaged Buddhism for the New Millennium: Essays in Honor of the Ven. Phra Dhammapitaka (Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto) on his 60th birthday anniversary. Bangkok: Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation and Foundation for Children, 2542/1999.

Prapod Assavavirulhakarn
The Ascendancy of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 2010.

This wide-ranging account of early Buddhism in Southeast Asia overthrows dominant theories among both Western and Asian scholars. Prapod argues that Pali-based Buddhism was brought from India and Sri Lanka by merchants, monks, and pilgrims by the fourth century. Several schools flourished alongside Brahmanism, Mahayanism, and local spirit beliefs—in coexistence rather than conflict. There was no ‘conversion’ to Theravada in the eleventh century as the school was already well established.

Prayudh Payutto

Dictionary of Buddhism. Bangkok: Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, 2528/1985. Web version available here.

Thai Buddhism in the Buddhist World. Bangkok: Amarin Printing Group, 1987.

Sammasati: An Exposition of Right Mindfulness. Translated by Dhamma-Vijaya. Bangkok: Amarin Printing, 1988.

Toward a Sustainable Science. Translated by B. G. Evans. Bangkok: Buddhadhamma Foundation, 1993.

Buddhadhamma: Natural Laws and Values for Life. Translated by Grant A. Olson. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995.
A modern summary of Theravada Buddhist doctrine illustrated with passages from the Pali canon. Some scholars have deemed this the best book on Thai Theravada Buddhism written within the last two hundred years.

(Phra) Rajavaramuni [See also Prayudh Payutto]
“Thai Buddhism: A Trend (A Realistic or Pessimistic View).” Visakha Puja 2522 (1979), 68-72.

“Tradition and Change in Thai Buddhism.” Bulletin of the Center for the Study of World Religions. Harvard University, Fall 1981, 17-25.

Thai Buddhism in the Buddhist World. Bangkok: Mahachulalongkorn Alumni Association, 1984.

Looking to America to Solve Thailand’s Problems. Translated by Grant A. Olson. Bangkok: Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, 1987.
After making a few sojourns to America, this monk compares Thai development with social development in the United States, and remains skeptical about using America as a fashionable example. In the final section of this volume, he relates how Buddhist principles can be applied towards meaningful and even moral development in Thailand.

Reynolds, Craig
“The Buddhist Monkhood in 19th Century Thailand.” Ph.D. dissertation. Cornell University, 1972.
An essential historical biography of one of Thailand’s earliest reformers, King Mongkut. Never published in book form.

“Buddhist Cosmography in Thai History with Special Reference to Nineteenth Century Culture Change.” Journal of Asian Studies 35 (1976), 203-220.

Autobiography: The Life of Prince-Patriarch Vajirañana, 1860-1921. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1979.
A portion of the autobiography of the royal monk who helped establish the Thammayut order and improve the education of monks.

Reynolds, Frank E.
“Buddhism and Sacral Kingship: A Study in the History of Thai Religion.” Ph.D. dissertation. University of Chicago, 1971.

“Four Modes of Theravada Action.” Journal of Religious Ethics, Spring 1979, 12-26.

Reynolds, Frank E. & Mani B.
The Three Worlds According to King Ruang: A Thai Cosmology. Berkeley: University of California, 1982.
A very good translation of the classic Thai cosmology incorporating notions of hierarchies of beings and worlds, related to leadership, ethics, heavens and hells.

Reynolds, Frank E. & Clifford, Regina T.
“Sangha Society and the Struggle for National Integration: Burma and Thailand,” in Transitions and Transformations in the History of Religions. Edited by Frank E. Reynolds and Theodore M. Ludwig. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980, 56-88.

Ruth, Richard A.
In Buddha’s Company: Thai Soldiers in the Vietnam War. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010.

Rhum, Michael R.
The Ancestral Lords: Gender, Descent, and Spirits in a Northern Thai Village. Special Report 29. DeKalb: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University, 1994.
This work addresses the question of how bilateral kinship co-exists with cults of matrilineal ancestral spirits throughout Northern Thailand. Includes ethnographic descriptions of the Northern Thai (Yuan) kinship system, a Northern Thai village, the institutions and rituals pertaining to the guardian spirits, and the structural relationship of the matrilineal cult complex to indigenous concepts of space and to local Buddhist institutions. Issues of gender and kinship are also addressed throughout the volume.

Saeng Chandrangaam & Narujohn Iddhichiracharas (editors)
Buddhism in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai: Published to Commemorate the 13th General Conference of The World Fellowship of Buddhists at Chiang Mai, Thailand, 1980.

Saneh Chamarik
“Buddhism and Human Rights: A Perspective.” Visakha Puja 2522 (1979), 39-47.

Buddhism and Human Rights (with a Preamble by Phra Rajavaramuni [Prayudh Payutto]). Paper 12, Thai Khadi Research Institute. Bangkok: Thammasat University, 1982.

Santikaro Bhikkhu
“Buddhadasa Bhikkhu: A Remembrance.” Crossroads 8:1 (1993), 125-130.

Note: Santikaro Bhikkhu has also retranslated or supervised the translation of many of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s works. We will soon be adding these to this site.

Santikaro & (Phra) Paisal Visalo
“Goodness and Generosity Perverted: The Karma of Capitalist Buddhism in Thailand” in Jonathan Watts, editor, Rethinking Karma: The Dharma of Social Justice. Bangkok: Silkworm, 2009.

Sanitsuda Ekachai
Keeping the Faith: Thai Buddhism at the Crossroads. Bangkok: Post Books, 2001.
This astute reporter at the Bangkok Post offers many excellent insights into Thai Buddhism.
Book review here.

Saroj Buasri
A Philosophy of Education for Thailand: The Confluence of Buddhism and Democracy. Bangkok: Ministry of Education, 1970.

(Phra) Sasana Sobhana
“The Government of the Thai Sangha.” Visakha Puja 2510 (1967), 7-16.

Sathienpong Wannapok (translator)
The Buddha’s Words in the Dhammapada. Bangkok: Sængrung Printing, 1980.
With Pali in Thai characters and a Thai and English translation of this important text.

Satip Sukatipan
“Thailand: The Evolution of Legitimacy,” in Political Legitimacy in Southeast Asia: The Quest for Moral Authority, Muthiah Alagappa, ed., 193-223. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995.

Schober, Juliana
Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Honolulu, HI: University Press of Hawaii, 1997

Scott, Rachelle M.
Nirvana for Sale? Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakaya Temple in Contemporary Thailand. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009.

Seeing the Way: Buddhist Reflections on the Spiritual Life. Bangkok: Amaravati Publications, 1969.
An anthology of teachings by English-speaking disciples of Achan Chah. This very accessible volume would be of special interest to Western Buddhists. This compilation of short biographies and teachings by phra farang influenced by Achan Chah reveals a depth and variety of approaches to Thai Buddhism. Published for free distribution.

Sensenig III, Barton
“The Psychological Symbolism of Thai Buddhist Cosmology.” Visakha Puja 2516 (1973), 72-79.

Siddhi Butr-Indr
The Social Philosophy of Buddhism. Bangkok: Mahamakut Buddhist University, 1973.

Skilling, Peter
“Geographies of Intertextuality: Buddhist Literature in Pre-modern Siam.” Aseanie 19 (June 2007).

Skinner, G. William & Kirsch, A. Thomas (editors)
Change and Persistence in Thai Society: Essays in Honor of Lauriston Sharp. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975.

Smith, Bardwell L. (editor)
Religion and Legitimation of Power in Thailand, Laos, and Burma. Chambersburg, PA: ANIMA Books, 1978.
Contains several excellent articles on Buddhism and politics in Thailand by Donald Swearer, A. Thomas Kirsch, Stanley Tambiah, Frank Reynolds, and Charles Keyes. Reynolds’ article on Thailand’s civic religion and the Student Uprising of 1973 is especially noteworthy.

(Phra) Sobhon-ganabhorn (Maha Rabæp)
A Plot to Undermine Buddhism. Bangkok: Siva Phorn, 1984.

Somboon Suksamran
Political Buddhism in Southeast Asia. London: C. Hurst and Co., 1977.

Political Patronage and Control over the Sangha. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1981.
This volume takes on the topic of the structural-functional relationships between the Sangha and the Thai state, from early times to the present (recent past).

Buddhism and Politics in Thailand. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1982.
Somboon traces the history of the Sangha Acts and the parallel structures of the secular and ecclesiastical administrations. He traces various periods in Thailand during which some monks were more or less politicized.

Shimizu, Yohei
Bodhi Tree Worship in Theravada Buddhism. Studia Asiatica no. 9. Nagoya University
Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 2010.

Stratton, Carol

What's What in a Wat. Thai Buddhist Temples: Their Purpose and Design. Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 2010.

Strong, John S.
The Legend and Cult of Upagupta: Sanskrit Buddhism in North India and Southeast Asia. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Suchira Payulpitack
“Buddhadasa’s Movement: An Analysis of Its Origins, Development, and Social Inpact.” Ph.D. dissertation. Universität Bielefeld, 1991.
This dissertation is available on the web and contains excellent information on the life and rise of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.

“Changing Provinces of Concern: A Case-Study of the Social Impact of the Buddhadasa Movement.” Sojourn 7:1 (February 1992), 39-68.

Sulak Sivaraksa
Conflict, Culture, Change: Engaged Buddhism in a Globalizing World. Wisdom Publications, 2005.

“Buddhism and Society: An Analysis.” Visakha Puja 2522 (1979), 48-53.

A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society. Bangkok: Thai Watana Panich Co., Ltd., 1981.

Siamese Resurgence. Bangkok: Asian Cultural Forum on Development, 1985.

Religion and Development. Translated by Francis Seely and edited by Grant A. Olson. Bangkok: Thai Inter-Religious Commission for Development, 1987.

Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1992.
The Buddhist-influenced ideas, ideals, and teachings of a well-known Thai social critic.

Sulak Sivaraksa (editor)
Radical Conservatism: Buddhism in the Contemporary World. Articles in Honour of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa’s 84th Birthday Anniversary. Thai Inter-Religious Commission for Development and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, 2533/1990.

Suntaree Komin
Psychology of the Thai People: Values and Behavioral Patterns. Bangkok: National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), 1990.

Sunthorn Na-rangsi (Translated by Bruce Evans)
“Administration of the Thai Sangha: Past, Present and Future.” The Chulalongkorn Journal of Buddhist Studies 1:2 (2002), 59-74. Access here.

Suwanna Satha-Anand
“Religious Movements in Contemporary Thailand: Buddhist Struggles for Modern Relevance.” Asian Survey 30:4 (April 1990), 395-408.
A succinct, but helpful summary that delineates some of the major movements and ideals in modern Thai Buddhism.

Swearer, Donald K.
Buddhism in Transition. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1970.

“New Directions in Thai Buddhism.” Solidarity 5:4 (April 1970), 50-53.

Toward the Truth. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1971.

“Thai Buddhism: Two Responses to Modernity.” Contributions to Asian Studies 4 (1973), 79-93.

“Fundamentalistic Movements in Theravada Buddhism,” in Fundamentalisms Observed, Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., 628-690. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991.

The Buddhist World in Southeast Asia. Albany: SUNY Press, 1995.
An update of his earlier text Buddhism and Society in Southeast Asia (Chambersburg, PA: Anima Publications, 1981).
This text presents a very general treatment of early Buddhist kingdoms, Buddhist festivals and rituals (popular traditions), and reform.

Swearer, Donald K. (editor)
Me and Mine: Selected Essays of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989.

Tambiah, Stanley J.
Spirit Cults in North-East Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970.
A classic village study arguing for a more integrated, holistic view of “classical” and “popular” Thai religious traditions that fall under the realm of Buddhism.

“Buddhism and This-Worldly Activity.” Modern Asian Studies 7:1 (1973).

“The Persistence and Transformation of Tradition in Southeast Asia, with Special Reference to Thailand.” Daedalus 102:1 (Winter 1973).

World Conquerer and World Renouncer: A Study of Buddhism and Polity in Thailand Against a Historical Background. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.
The breadth of this book is difficult to easily summarize. It begins with a discussion sacred kingship and then moves to the notion of “galatic polity.” The Sangha Acts are discussed, as is Buddhism and national development and some early trends of reform.

The Buddhist Saints of the Forest and the Cult of Amulets: A Study in Charisma, Hagiography, Sectarianism and Millennial Buddhism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
More insightful reflections on the interactions between Buddhism and popular traditions in Thailand.

Tannenbaum, Nicola
Who Can Compete Against the World? Power-Protection and Buddhism in Shan Worldview. Association of Asian Studies Monograph Series 51. Ann Arbor: Association of Asian Studies, 1996.

Tavivat Puntarigvivat
“Toward a Buddhist Social Ethics: The Case of Thailand.” Cross Currents 48:3 (Fall 1998). Web version available here.

Taylor, J. L.
“Buddhist Revitalization, Modernization, and Social Change in Contemporary Thailand.” Sojourn 8:1 (1993), 62-91.

Forest Monks and the Nation-State: An Anthropological and Historical Study in Northeastern Thailand. Singapore: Institute of Asian Studies, 1993.
This very dense book traces the incorporation (or “domestication”) of forest monks into the nation-state.

Buddhism and Postmodern Imaginings in Thailand: The Religiosity of Urban Space. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008.

Terwiel, B. J.
Monks and Magic: An Analysis of Religious Ceremonies in Central Thailand. London: Curzon Press, 1979.

(Phrarachakhru) Thephawamuni
Yant 108 Phitsadan [A Compendium of (Sacred) Tatoos], ?.

Textor, Robert B.
“An Inventory of Non-Buddhist Supernatural Objects in a Central Thai Village.” Ph.D. dissertation. Cornell University, 1960.

(Somdet Phra Maha Samana Chao Krom Phraya) Vajarañanavarorasa [Wachirayanwarorot]
Buddhist Proverbs, Section 1 (Buddhasasanasubhasita). Romanized and translated by Phra Maha Prayong Kittidharo. Bangkok: The Buddhist University of Thailand, 2499/1956.

Navakovada: Instructions for the Newly-Ordained Bhikkhus and Samaneras. Bangkok: Maha Makuta Buddhist University (Mahamakutarajaviyalaya), 2514/1971.

Ordination Procedure (and the Preliminary Duties of a New Bhikkhu). Bangkok: Maha Makuta Buddhist University (Mahamakutarajaviyalaya), 2516/1973.
Still an excellent English-language source for farang considering ordination into the Thai Theravada order.

Entrance to the Vinaya (Vinayamukha). 3 Vols. Bangkok: Maha Makuta Buddhist University (Mahamakutarajaviyalaya), (Vol. 1 published in 2512/1969; Vol. 2 published in 2516/1973; Vol. 3 published in 2526/1983).

Van Esterik, Penny
“Rice and Milk in Thai Buddhism: Symbolism and Social Values of Basic Food Substances.” Crossroads 2:1 (1984), 46-58.

“Feeding Their Faith: Recipe Knowledge among Thai Buddhist Women.” Food and Foodways 1 (1986), 197–215.

Women of Southeast Asia. Center for Southeast Asian Studies Occasional Paper no. 9. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 1982. Reprinted in 1995.
Edited by Van Esterik. A variety of essays dealing with the relationship of women and Theravada Buddhism in Thailand.

Veidlinger, Daniel
Spreading the Dhamma: Writing, Orality, and Textual Transmission in Buddhist Northern Thailand. Honolulu, HI: University Press of Hawaii, 2006.

Vella, Walter F.
Chaiyo!: King Vajiravudh and the Development of Thai Nationalism. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1978.

Visakha Puja (journal)
This annual journal named after the Buddhist holiday was published by the Buddhist Association of Thailand between the years of 1960 to 1980. All of the issues of this magazine contain articles of interest to students of Thai religion. Some of Thailand’s most excellent thinkers and foreign residents of Thailand made contributions over its too-brief span.

Warren, Henry Clarke
Buddhism in Translations. New York: Atheneum, 1974.

Wat Bovornives Vihara. Bangkok: Siva Phorn, 2515/1972.

Wells, Kenneth E.
Thai Buddhism: Its Rites and Activities. New York: AMS Press, 1960 (reprint, Bangkok: Suriyaban Publishers, 1975; reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1982).
Descriptive overview of the distinctive aspects of ritual practice in Thailand.

Williams, Paul & Ladwig, Patrice (editors)
Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Wyatt, David K.
The Politics of Reform in Thailand: Education in the Reign of King Chulalongkorn. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1969.

“The ‘Subtle Revolution’ of Rama I of Thailand,” in Moral Order and the Question of Change: Essays on Southeast Asian Thought, D. Wyatt and A. Woodside, eds., 9-54. Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, Monograph Series, no. 24. New Haven: Southeast Asia Studies, 1982.

Thailand: A Short History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.

Young, Ernest
The Kingdom of the Yellow Robe: Being Sketches of the Domestic and Religious Rites and Ceremonies of the Siamese. New York: AMS Press, 1898 (reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1982).
An early, though still valuable, comprehensive work of ethnography.

Zack, Steven J.
“Buddhist Education Under Prince Wachirayan Warorot.” Ph.D. dissertation. Cornell University, 1977.

Zehner, Edwin
“Reform Symbolism of a Thai Middle-Class Sect: The Growth and Appeal of the Thammakai Movement.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 21:2 (September 1990), 402-426.
A background and class analysis of the popular Buddhist movement advocating the practice of visualization meditation.

Of course we’ve overlooked some things. Email us suggestions, corrections, clarifications and additions, please!