Ananda Metteyya in Colonial Burma

The Life of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya - (Volume 1 of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya: Biography and Collected Writings) - Elizabeth J. Harris

Elizabeth J. Harris [+-]
University of Birmingham
Elizabeth Harris is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow within the Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham, UK. Before this, she was an Associate Professor at Liverpool Hope University. She specializes in Buddhist Studies and inter-faith studies, and has published widely in both disciplines. Her publications include: What Buddhists Believe (Oneworld, 1998): Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, missionary and colonial experience in nineteenth century Sri Lanka (Routledge, 2006): Buddhism for a Violent World: A Christian Reflection (Epworth, 2010/now published by SCM).
John L. Crow [+-]
Florida State University
John L. Crow holds a Ph.D. in American religious history from Florida State University, where he is an instructional design faculty member assisting other faculty in course design and use of education technology.


Chapter Three covers Allan Bennett’s ordination as Venerable Ananda Maitriya (later changed to Metteyya) in Burma until his mission to Britain in 1908. He gained his novice and higher ordination in Akyab (now Sittwe in Rakkhine State) and, whilst there, wrote two articles that he sent to friends in Ceylon for publication. These laid the foundation for much of his later writing. Soon after his higher ordination, he moved to Mandalay, where he was re-ordained within a relatively new, reformist monastic fraternity. From there, he travelled to Rangoon (now Yangon), from where he developed his plan to bring Buddhism to the west, through the Buddhasāsana Samāgama (International Buddhist Society) and the publication of the journal, Buddhism. During this period, Ananda Metteyya, although still hindered by asthma, was productive and energetic. Although unable to speak Burmese, he taught in other parts of the country with the help of translators and was influential among English-speaking Buddhists in Rangoon, becoming a symbol of Buddhism’s resilience under British colonialism and the Christian missionary threat.

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Harris, Elizabeth; Crow, John. Ananda Metteyya in Colonial Burma. The Life of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya - (Volume 1 of Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya: Biography and Collected Writings). Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Mar 2025. ISBN 9781781797983. Date accessed: 14 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36334. Mar 2025

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