Welcome to the Thai Digital Monastery Project. My name is Justin McDaniel, an associate professor of Southeast Asian and Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. While an associate professor at the University of California at Riverside, I founded the TDM project. I am the executive director of the project, but I am assisted by a number of technical experts and scholars in Thailand, France, Australia, Japan, England, Laos, India, Germany, and ther United States. The funding for the first year of this project is from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities. We are actively seeking future funding and humbly accept donations. Together we hope to make this site useful and informative for anyone interested in Thai monastic life diachronically and synchronically. In our first year, please be patient and check back in frequently for additions. The TDM team welcomes feedback and suggestions. You can contact them at jmcdan@sas.upenn.edu.

This site is under construction and new material (images, film, texts, maps, etc.) and links are bring added on a daily basis. This site will eventually be an interactive site which provide a great deal of information about Thai Buddhist monasteries in Thailand and abroad. The material will be presented in Thai and English.

Creating a monastic digital library for Thailand involves interconnecting technology, field data, and a supportive community of experts and enthusiasts. We strongly adhere to the notion that exposing hidden and scattered data to a large multi-lingual international community of learners can generate new research initiatives, juxtapose previously disconnected concepts and discourses, and inspire new students in the fields of anthropology, history, art, linguistics, religious studies, literature, etc. The knowledge community that is generated out of virtual interactive environments can question stereotypes, reconfigure old epistemic structures, and postulate new notions of what it means to be both a modern global citizen and a traditional monastic student.

This cooperative work with a wide range of scholars on a wide range of materials in several interrelated fields will ensure that this project impacts intellectual discourse in a variety of venues. This project is a cooperative effort with junior and senior Thai and non-Thai scholars which will train local ethnographers , historians, and librarians in preservation, cartographic, and technical methods. This will certainly lead to future joint projects and mapping of other monasteries throughout the country.