The Irish Buddhist: A remarkable account of the elusive Dhammaloka

Book review: Decades of research resurrect the many lives of Laurence Carroll

Irishman Laurence Carroll was ordained the first European Burmese Buddhist monk in Rangoon in 1900 when he took the name of Dhammaloka.

Irishman Laurence Carroll was ordained the first European Burmese Buddhist monk in Rangoon in 1900 when he took the name of Dhammaloka.

This is a remarkable account of the life of Laurence Carroll, who was born in the 1850s in Booterstown, in south Co Dublin, and, after various peregrinations which are largely unaccounted for, was ordained the first European Burmese Buddhist monk in Rangoon (now Yangon), in 1900.

On his ordination, Carroll took on the name of Dhammaloka, “light of the Buddhist law”, and began his new life, which was to last 13 years, as an activist and promoter of Theravada Buddhism on tours throughout Burma and southeast Asia where he preached to many thousands.

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