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Photo credit: Giuseppe Bolotta. Giuseppe Bolotta - 09 Dec, On one level, it symbolically encapsulates the history of Christianity in Thailand as a scarcely acknowledged force for the spread of Western modernity. Perhaps less intuitively, Christianity has also operated as a force supporting the consolidation of royalist Thai ethno-nationalism. Ensuing exchanges between missionaries and the Thai monarchy in the fields of science, art, printing techniques, architecture, medicine, and education are widely documented.
Western medicine was introduced to the kingdom by early European missionaries during the 17th century. The list of such t initiatives between Christian emissaries and the Thai monarchy could actually extend much further. Thai-Christian relations in the field of education deserve a special mention. They identified schools run by Catholic missionaries as a model for the establishment of the Thai school system. The Educational Acts of and intervened, mandating the standardised adoption of the same state-approved curriculum in all schools.
Indeed, Thailand has only become an adverse territory for Catholics when Thai royal power has been in crisisespecially between the fall of the absolute monarchy in Christian in thailand the military-piloted rise of King Bhumibol Rama IX. Catholic missionaries have historically contributed to the channelling of Western modernity, science, and education into the kingdom. Images depicting the king are displayed on all Catholic buildings churches, hospitals, schools, and universities alongside traditional Christian icons.
Catholic liturgy includes prayers in praise of the king, who is publicly portrayed in Thailand as the embodiment of the Buddhist Dharma. Retracing Buddhist monk—layman interactions, Catholic laity relate to priests—often called phrathe same word used to deate Buddhist monks—as superior beings.
But this is not a problem. Christian religion is not taught here. In Catholic schools the Christian in thailand is identical to that in state schools. The close historical link between the Vatican and the Thai monarchy has led to Catholicism being locally reconfigured according to elite royalist Buddhist culture. As Pope Francis lands in Thailand, Katewadee Kulabkaew unpacks hardline fears that the Catholic Church is like "a stealthy python" that will swallow Buddhism.
Katewadee Kulabkaew 21 November, Chris Baker 14 Aug, Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang 07 Aug, Notify me of follow-up comments by. Notify me of new posts by. More on Thailand. North Atlantic Books 02 Sep, Leave this field empty.Christian in thailand
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Christianity in Thailand