Ananda Metteyya’s Mission to Britain and Return to 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.

Description

Chapter Four focuses on Ananda Metteyya’s six-month mission to Britain in 1908 and his last years in Burma. The mission occupied a liminal space between success and failure. Ananda Metteyya had hoped that thousands would convert to Buddhism. Although this did not happen, Metteyya left behind a functioning, if cash-strapped, Buddhist Society for Great Britain and Ireland, and a nucleus of committed western Buddhists. After returning to Burma, his last six years in the country were marred by illness, the struggle to keep the Buddhist Society in London financially afloat, disappointed hopes and a legal case that went to court in 1910, which implicated him as a former friend of Aleister Crowley, who, by that time, had acquired a notorious reputation. Yet, he continued to write and maintain international contacts, for instance with the Theosophical Society. This chapter uncovers the forces that gathered around Ananda Metteyya in these years, tarnishing his reputation and abilities.

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Citation

Harris, Elizabeth; Crow, John. Ananda Metteyya’s Mission to Britain and Return to 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. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=36335. Date accessed: 22 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36335. Mar 2025

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