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Hindu Responses to Inter-Religious Peace Initiatives in Contemporary Sri Lanka

Tilley, Michael John (2015) Hindu Responses to Inter-Religious Peace Initiatives in Contemporary Sri Lanka. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

A recent crisis of civil war had affected Sri Lanka for a near twenty-six year period, beginning with the fulminant ‘Black July’ of 1983, whilst arriving at an acrimonious and controversial cessation in May 2009. The burgeoning vehemence attracted the attention of various actors, both international and domestic, with an interest in deescalating the discord between compatriot ethnic groups. Among such impetuses were the various inter-religious peace initiatives, organizations which attempted to restore unity by fostering the shared accordant values of otherwise disparate religious traditions. Of what academic work presently exists on the topic of inter-religious peace initiatives in contemporary Sri Lanka though, curiously very little accounts for the participation of those within the contextual Hindu community. This is a particularly problematic knowledge vacuum, given that Sri Lankan Hindus, by virtue of a significant overlap with Tamil ethnicity, were intimately affiliated with a major faction within the nation’s period of civil unrest. This thesis then succeeds in shedding light upon how Sri Lankan Hindus have so far responded to the offer of participation within the activities of inter-religious peace initiatives; however it does so through considering a series of hypothetical impediments – ranging from the pressure of nationalist militancy to ethical perspectives on the legitimacy of violence – which appeared to have had the potential to negate any prospective positive engagement. The validity of such hypotheses is then tested according to a multifaceted collection of ethnographic field data. Though the Civil War is now very much at an end, this thesis also argues for the continuity of an underlying conflict into the current post-war era, and as such offers an invaluable reference point to those involved in ongoing strategies of inter-religious peace-building in Sri Lanka.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > University of York St. John
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.690141
Depositing User: Mr Michael John Tilley
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 08:21
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2016 14:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13622

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