Buddhism has been Thailand's national religion for thousands of years, having dep seated influences on ways of life, culture, and thinking of the people. We can look at Buddhism in two ways--academically and practically. In practice the monks have been transmitted and propagated the Buddhist Teaching and have been doing very well. Thailand is one of the world's best and most important practice centers of the Teaching. Nowadays more and more foreign visitors come to Thailand to practice the Buddhadharma.
Academic studies of Buddhism in Thailand have been in existence for a long time; however, it cannot be said that the studies in the country are as advanced as those practiced in other countries. This is rather surprising since Buddhism is one of the most important principles of the Thai people. In the West, and in such countries as Burma, Sri Lanka, India and others, the studies of the Buddhist Teaching are active and widespread. More scholars are trying to interpret and understand the world through Buddhist perspectives. Some of these practices can be found in Thailand, but the atmosphere still leaves something to be desired.
In addition, though Buddhism has long been the foundation of Thai cultural identity, studies of the religion in its sociological and anthropolotical aspects are not widespread. More studies of aspects of the society in relation with Buddhism, and of the bahaviors and beliefs of the Thai people are needed, as well as on aspects of the religion on the economy and politics. These types of studies are crucial for an adequate understanding of Thai society and culture.
Therefore, Chulalongkorn University has established the Center for Buddhist Studies with the express objective of promoting the studies of Buddhism both in its philosophical and doctrinal as well as in sociological, economic and anthropological aspects. Another objective is to create an internationally recognized center of research and information on Buddhist studies.
The objectives of the Center are: