Ananda Metteyya’s Legacy

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 Edward 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 Six explores a selection of the diverse ways in which Ananda Metteyya was appropriated and remembered after his death, by both Buddhists and esotericists. In Asia, he was remembered as a pioneer of Buddhist mission to the west, a symbol of the international appeal of Buddhism in the face of western Christian hegemony. In western esoteric and occultist circles, he was lauded as a magician who never left occultism behind, becoming an almost mythical role model. Within western Buddhist groups, his pioneering 1908 mission was not forgotten but new initiatives, which distanced themselves from his memory, developed. In the 1990s, however, the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in London brought him to the fore again, through an annual event that commemorated the 1907 mission. The chapter argues that few posthumous representations of Ananda Metteyya, including academic ones, brought the whole of his life together, taking into account his significance not only within the transmission of Buddhism to the west but also within western esotericism.

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Citation

Harris, Elizabeth; Crow, John. Ananda Metteyya’s Legacy. 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 9781800506510. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=36337. Date accessed: 24 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36337. Mar 2025

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