Buddhist Pedagogy in Laos: Past and Present
Justin McDaniel, Ph.D.

Dept. of Religious Studies
2617 Humanities Building
University of California, Riverside


Laos has been generally seen as a place of little innovation and development in terms of Buddhist texts and textuality. However, many have overlooked the contribution Lao Buddhist intellectuals have made to the development of new genres of Buddhist literature especially in regards to pedagogical texts. This paper will examine some examples of palm-leaf manuscripts used for sermons and monastic instruction and then compare their pedagogical techniques and rhetorical style to modern Lao sermons (both oral and printed) and student guidebooks. The paper claims that there has been great continuity in Lao pedagogy from the sixteenth century to the present despite political, institutional, and economic shifts and disruptions.