Engaged Buddhism

Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia

Edited by Christopher S. Queen & Sallie B. King

Subjects: Buddhism
Paperback : 9780791428443, 464 pages, March 1996
Hardcover : 9780791428436, 464 pages, March 1996

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Table of contents


1. Introduction: The Shapes and Sources of Engaged Buddhism
Christopher S. Queen

2. Dr. Ambedkar and the Hermeneutics of Buddhist Liberation
Christopher S. Queen

3. TBMSG: A Dhamma Revolution in Contemporary India
Alan Sponberg

4. A. T. Ariyaratne and the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka
George D. Bond

5. Buddhadasa Bhikku: Life and Society Through the Natural Eyes of Voidness
Santikaro Bhikkhu

6. Sulak Sivaraksa's Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society
Donald K. Swearer

Engaged Buddhist Leaders

Buddhist Liberation Movement Activities

7. Buddhist Women and the Nuns' Order in Asia
Nancy J. Barnes

8. Buddhist Principles in the Tibetan Liberation Movement
José Ignacio Cabezón

9. Thich Nhat Hanh and the Unified Buddhist Church: Nondualism in Action
Sallie B. King

10. The Soka Gakkai: Buddhism and the Creation of a Harmonious and Peaceful Society
Daniel A. Metraux

11. Conclusion: Buddhist Social Activism
Sallie B. King



This is the first comprehensive coverage of socially and politically engaged Buddhism in Asia, presenting the historical development and institutional forms of engaged Buddhism in the light of traditional Buddhist conceptions of morality, interdependence, and liberation.


This is the first comprehensive study of socially and politically engaged Buddhism in the lands of its origin. Nine accounts of contemporary movements in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Japan are framed by interpretive essays. The historical development and institutional forms of engaged Buddhism are considered in the light of traditional Buddhist conceptions of morality, interdependence, and liberation; and Western ideas of freedom, human rights, and democracy.

Since the fiery self-immolation of the Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc on a Saigon street in 1963, "engaged Buddhism" has spread throughout Asia and the West. Twice in recent years the Nobel Prize for peace was awarded to Buddhists for their efforts to free their compatriots from totalitarian regimes.

Engaged Buddhism presents ordained and lay Buddhist activists like Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu and Sulak Sivaraksa of Thailand, A. T. Ariyaratne and the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement of Sri Lanka, Daisaku Ikeda and the Soka Gakkai movement of Japan, followers of the Indian Untouchable leader, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and Buddhist women throughout Asia. These leaders have campaigned relentlessly, attracted and organized millions of new converts, faced death threats, landed in jail, founded schools and universities, and produced a massive new Buddhist literature to restore social and economic justice to their societies.

Christopher S. Queen is Dean of Students and Lecturer on Religion in the Division of Continuing Education at Harvard University. Sallie B. King is Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at James Madison University. She is the author of Buddha Nature and Journey in Search of the Way, both published by SUNY Press.


"This book shows great insight into the main thrust of Heidegger's complex body of work, provides many clarifying examples, offers helpful parallels with the thought of other philosophers. And, perhaps most important of all, Stambaugh shows that her topic transcends narrow scholarly concerns, addressing the age-old and perennially vital question of the nature and limits of human knowledge and power. "

"The author has a first-class reputation as a translator of several of Heidegger's important works, and is the author of two significant studies of Nietzsche's philosophy. She had numerous conversations with Heidegger during the last ten years of his life, in the course of which she was able to obtain detailed help from him concerning difficult aspects of his thinking and problems in translating key terms in this thinking into English. In this book, she is able to draw on this background in interpreting several of Heidegger's later and posthumous publications, focusing on an absolutely central, and very difficult, notion (the finitude of being) in Heidegger's thought. The book incorporates the first scholarly study of one of the most important of Heidegger's works, the long-awaited and posthumously published (1989) Beitrage zur Philosophie. " -- Joseph P. Fell, Bucknell University