Journal of Buddhist Ethics

Articles

Vol. 20, Annual

Thresholds of Transcendence: Buddhist Self-Immolation and Mahayanist Absolute Altruism, Part One
Introduction In China and Tibet, and under the gaze of the global media, the four-year period from February 2009 to February 2013 saw the self-immolations of at least 110 Tibetan Buddhist monks and lay-people. (3) An English Tibetan Buddhist monk,...
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The Gurudharma on Bhiksuni Ordination in the Mulasarvastivada Tradition
I. The Gurudharma On Bhiksunl Ordination in Different Vinayas According to tradition, the gurudharmas, "principles to be respected," were stipulated by the Buddha as a pre-condition for granting his foster mother Mahaprajapati Gautami the higher...
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Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia
Religion and the Making of Modern East Asia. By Thomas David DuBois. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, xii+ 259 pages, ISBN 987-1107400405 (paperback), ISBN 978-1107008090 (cloth) $81.00. Thomas David DuBois states that the goal of his...
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The Compassionate Gift of Vice: Santideva on Gifts, Altruism, and Poverty
In his Siksasamuccaya (Anthology on Training, abbreviated SS), the eighth-century Indian Mahayana Buddhist thinker Santideva proclaims that a bodhisattva should think as follows: "I will give alcoholic drink (madya) even to alcohol drinkers; I will...
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The Cultivation of Virtue in Buddhist Ethics
In The Nature of Buddhist Ethics, Damien Keown argued that Aristotelian virtue ethics is the closest Western analogue to Buddhist ethics, and this interpretation is now widely accepted. However, it has recently been challenged by writers, such as Charles...
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Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700
Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500-1700. By Jimmy Yu. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012, xiv + 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-19-984490 (paperback), $29.95. This grew out of Jimmy Yu's Ph.D. dissertation titled, "Bodies...
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Theos Bernard, the White Lama: Tibet, Yoga, and American Religious Life
Theos Bernard, the White Lama: Tibet, Yoga, and American Religious Life. Paul G. Hackett. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012, xxii + 494 pages, ISBN 978-0-231-15886-2 (cloth), $32.95. Who was Theos Bernard (1908-1947)? Was he a sincere religious...
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Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka
Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Site: Bodh Gaya Jataka. Edited by David Geary, Matthew R. Sayers, and Abhisek Sing Amar. London: Routledge, 2012, ISBN 9780415684521 (hardback), $150.00. Upon entering the site of Bodh Gaya today, one...
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Buddhism, Equality, Rights
This article examines the possibility that the system of liberation promulgated by the Buddha implies a doctrine of equality capable of serving as a basis for the ascription of rights. (2) The question of how rights may be grounded in Buddhist doctrine...
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Consequentialism, Agent-Neutrality, and Mahayana Ethics
During the past three decades, Western scholars have begun to study Buddhist ethics in a serious way. This development may soon make possible a fruitful dialogue between Buddhist and Western traditions of ethical reflection, in which each tradition...
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Impermanence, Anatta, and the Stability of Egocentrism; or, How Ethically Unstable Is Egocentrism?
Ever since the beginning of philosophical time, egoism or egocentrism has suffered a bad reputation. That is not to say it has lacked defenders, but the bulk of opinion has consistently been against it. A number of strategies have been employed to...
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Buddha's Maritime Nature: A Case Study in Shambhala Buddhist Environmentalism
The aim of this paper is to articulate the environmental ethic of one Shambhala Buddhist community in Atlantic Canada. Shambhala Buddhism is a Westernized form of Tibetan Buddhism founded by the charismatic Tibetan teacher, Chogyam Trungpa. (2) In...
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Resources for Buddhist Environmental Ethics
In recent decades Buddhists have been turning their attention to environmental problems. This nascent "Green Buddhism" has found expression in activism and several edited volumes and monographs. (1) To date, however, no one has formulated a systematic...
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The Dalai Lama and the Nature of Buddhist Ethics
Although His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama matters for a number of political, religious, and cultural reasons (Thurman), his ethical ideas remain unappreciated by most professional philosophers. Although the Dalai Lama does not write as an expert in...
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Liberation as Revolutionary Praxis: Rethinking Buddhist Materialism
Introduction A person of wisdom is not one who practices Buddhism apart from worldly affairs but, rather, one who thoroughly understands the principles by which the world is governed. The true path lies in the affairs of this world. The Golden Light...
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Some Problems with Particularism
While writing this article I heard that scientists in the field of nuclear physics had successfully concluded their search for the "god particle." This mysterious particle known as the "Higgs boson" is thought to provide pivotal evidence regarding...
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Why Buddhism and the West Need Each Other: On the Interdependence of Personal and Social Transformation
The mercy of the West has been social revolution. The mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both. Gary Snyder Another way to put it: the highest ideal of the Western tradition has been the concern to...
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Mahayana Ethics and American Buddhism: Subtle Solutions or Creative Perversions?
Introduction Sandra Bell begins her exciting chapter on "Scandals in Emerging Western Buddhism" in Westward Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Asia with a reference to a meeting of twenty-two Western Dharma teachers with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in the...
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Suffering Made Sufferable: Santideva, Dzongkaba, and Modern Therapeutic Approaches to Suffering's Silver Lining
It is the First Noble Truth: suffering is the problem, the enemy. Life should be joy, not anguish. Yet on the path to the end of suffering, enemies can be friends. In fact, without suffering, there is no path because there is no motivation. The...
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Buddhist Reflections on "Consumer" and "Consumerism"
Consumerism "Consumption:" in the nineteenth century, this was the name for a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis. Now it is a term for the key focus of human economic activity in many lands. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary...
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The Legality of Bhikkhuni Ordination
Introduction My presentation is based on extracts from a more detailed study of various aspects related to "The Revival of the Bhikkhuni Order and the Decline of the Sasana," in which I also tried to cover relevant secondary sources to the best...
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Celebrating Twenty Years of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics
This special edition celebrates twenty years of continuous publication by the JBE and includes a collection of invited papers to mark the occasion. Some of these papers have been published before in the JBE, some are new, and others have been selected...
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The Metaphysics of No-Self: A Determinist Deflation of the Free Will Problem
Not every discussion of Buddhist ethics has to explicitly tackle Buddhist metaphysics. However, we should keep in mind that because all ethical theories make basic metaphysical assumptions, a clearer metaphysical understanding can greatly simplify...
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Reimagining Buddhist Ethics on the Tibetan Plateau
Vow-Taking on the Tibetan Plateau In Tibetan areas of the PRC, a new movement to assert Buddhist ethics is gaining momentum. Today Tibetans are taking vows en masse to stop engaging in activities like selling yaks for slaughter, fighting with knives...
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Purifying Zen: Watsuji Tetsuro's Shamon Dogen
Purifying Zen: Watsuji Tetsuro's Shamon Dogen. Watsuji Tetsuro, translated by Steve Bein. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2011,174 pages; ISBN 978-0824835569 (Paperback), $24.00. In Purifying Zen, Steve Bein brings together two giants in Japanese...
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Purification Buddhist Movement, 1954-1970: The Struggle to Restore Celibacy in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Purification Buddhist Movement, 1954-1970: The Struggle to Restore Celibacy in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. By Ven. Chanju Mun. Honolulu, Hawai'i: Blue Pine Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9777553-6-3 (paperback), $35. Ven. Chanju Mun is a Korean...
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Irigaray's Meditations on the Duality of Sexuality in Buddhist Ethics
Luce Irigaray, like many contemporary feminist philosophers, reimagines the relationship between Woman and the body. She develops her theories about the "sensible transcendental" in response to the long-held notion that women, because the body and...
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Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka
Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka. By Anne M. Blackburn. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010, xxii + 237 pages, ISBN-13 978-0-226-05 507-7 (cloth); ISBN-10 0-226-05 507-8 (cloth), $45.00. In her first book,...
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The Revival of the Bhikkhuni Order and the Decline of the Sasana
Introduction My presentation begins with the contrast between the positive evaluation of the existence of an order of bhikkhunis in early Buddhist discourse and the "prediction of decline," according to which the establishing of this order would...
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Nirvana for Sale?: Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakaya Temple in Contemporary Thailand
Nirvana for Sale?: Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakaya Temple in Contemporary Thailand. By Rachelle M. Scott. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009, xiii + 242 pages, ISBN 978-1-4384-2784-3 (paperback), $29.95, ISBN 978-1-4384-2783-6 (hardcover). In the popular...
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Buddhism between Abstinence and Indulgence: Vegetarianism in the Life and Works of Jigme Lingpa
Tibetan Buddhism has long argued for the sanctity of life, condemning the killing of humans and animals alike. For just as long, however, meat has been a staple of the Tibetan diet. Individual religious leaders have dealt with this tension in different...
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The Social Dimension of Shin Buddhism
The Social Dimension of Shin Buddhism. Ugo Dessi, Editor. Leiden: Brill, 2010, 286 pages; ISBN 978-90-04-18653-8 (Cloth), $153.00. For students of Japanese Buddhism, and of Buddhist ethics more broadly, scholarly writing on Jodo Shinshu has been...
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Bad Nun: Thullananda in Pali Canonical and Commentarial Sources
In Pali canonical and commentarial literature, the woman Thullananda (whose name might be literally translated as "Fat Joy") is well known for being a "bad nun"--a nun whose persistent bad behavior is directly responsible for the promulgation of a...
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Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice
Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice. B. Alan Wallace. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. xi+292 pages, ISBN-13: 9780231158343 (pbk), $27.95. Discourse and debate over "Buddhism...
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Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation
Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation. By Joseph Cheah. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, 192 pages, ISBN 978-0199756285 (Hardcover), $65.00. American Buddhist scholarship has been a sub-field...
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The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism
The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism. By Jacob P. Dalton. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011, x + 311 pages, ISBN 978-0-300-18796-0 (paper), $27.50; ISBN 978-0-300-15392-7 (cloth), $40.00. The last several years...
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Vol. 19, Annual

The Case of Sudinna: On the Function of Vinaya Narrative, Based on a Comparative Study of the Background Narration to the First Parajika Rule
Introduction (2) In the present paper I study the function of Vinaya narrative from the perspective of its teaching context. The example I have chosen for this purpose occurs at the very beginning of the textual account of the monastic rules, namely...
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Ethical Confusion: Possible Misunderstandings in Buddhist Ethics
There has been much fruitful discussion of Buddhist ethics over the last two decades, much of it in response to Damien Keown's The Nature of Buddhist Ethics (1992). However, the discussion has been complicated by a number of possible misconceptions...
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Buddhism, Punishment, and Reconciliation
As it is commonly interpreted, the first precept of Buddhism involves a commitment to nonviolence (ahimsa). (2) This is understood, first and foremost, as a commitment not to kill any sentient being intentionally. But it is also understood, more broadly,...
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Right View, Red Rust, and White Bones: A Reexamination of Buddhist Teachings on Female Inferiority
Introduction In speaking of Sakyamuni Buddha's insistence that all spiritual teachings and practices must be closely investigated and tested, not blindly accepted, the Dalai Lama has often stated that if some dharma (4) has been scientifically proven...
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Right View, Red Rust, and White Bones: A Reexamination of Buddhist Teachings on Female Inferiority: References
References Unless otherwise stated, passages from the Tripitaka cited in this article were translated from the Pali and/or carefully researched and drawn from several different editions by Sister Upalavanna, and by Bhikkhus Bodhi, Nanamoli Thera,...
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The Five Niyamas as Laws of Nature: An Assessment of Modern Western Interpretations of Theravada Buddhist Doctrine
In the first part of this article I will explore how the Theravadin commentarial list of fivefold niyama has been used by recent writers on Buddhism to present the law of karma within a scientific worldview. In the second part I will show that, although...
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The Burmese Alms-Boycott: Theory and Practice of the Pattanikujjana in Buddhist Non-Violent Resistance
Text and Theory In 2001 the scholar of Engaged Buddhism Christopher Queen suggested that "most Buddhists today, including those who are socially and politically engaged, are loath to challenge leaders, governments, and institutions that have the...
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Esoteric Teaching of Wat Phra Dhammakaya
The rise of Wat Phra Dhammakaya as a well-organized urban Buddhist movement is undeniably unique in the history of Thailand. After three and a half decades, the wat is now a well-established international center of Buddhist movements. In addition to...
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The Story of Sudinna in the Tibetan Translation of the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya
In what follows I provide an annotated translation of the narrative of Sudinna that according to tradition led to the formulation of the first parajika rule, as found in the Tibetan Mulasarvastivada Vinaya ('Dul ba). (1) This is intended to serve as...
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Emotions, Ethics, and Choice: Lessons from Tsongkhapa
The intentional intervention in--and cultivation of--our emotional experiences is a foundational part of Tibetan Buddhist ethics. Many of the Tibetan Buddhist mind training (blo sbyong) exercises are aimed at reducing the negative emotional experiences...
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Did the Buddha Correct Himself?
Introduction After achieving enlightenment, the Buddha began to admit people to the Order based on their own choice so that they could devote their lives to the Path he discovered. This went on for some time until his own father, Suddhodhana, made...
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Intellectual Property in Early Buddhism: A Legal and Cultural Perspective
Introduction "Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce" ("What is Intellectual Property?"). Depending on the type of a given piece...
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If Intention Is Karma: A New Approach to the Buddha's Socio-Political Teachings
Introduction Mode 1 Dhamma is an ethics of reciprocity, in which the assessment of violence is contextdependent and negotiable. Buddhist advice to kings in Mode 1 tells them not to pass judgment in haste or anger, but appropriately, such that the...
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Buddhist Reductionism and Free Will: Paleo-Compatibilism
Conclusions of the Early-Period Scholarship (2) In the first article in this series ("Earlier") I examined the writings of early-period Buddhist scholars Story, Rahula, Gomez, and Kalupahana regarding the Western philosophical problem of whether...
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Buddhist Hard Determinism: No Self, No Free Will, No Responsibility
Buddhist Scholarship on Free Will: An Introduction (2) Buddhist scholarship on the question of the compatibility of free will and determinism is a relatively new phenomenon. Throughout the bulk of Buddhist history, apart from a few fragments of...
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Vol. 18, Annual

Mahapajapati's Going Forth in the Madhyama-Agama
Introduction (2) In the last two issues of the JBE, I studied the Bahudhatuka-sutta and the Nandakovada-sutta in the light of their parallels, examining in particular negativities toward women in general or nuns in particular that are evident in...
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Bile & Bodhisattvas: Santideva on Justified Anger
Background: Santideva and Bodhicitta Santideva was a Buddhist monk in India in the 8th century and continues to be one of the most studied and quoted Buddhist philosophers in the world. His most famous work, a classic of Mahayana Buddhist literature,...
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A Cross-Tradition Exchange between Taiwan and Sri Lanka
On October 4, 2010 around 7 p.m. led by a police escort, the three head nuns of a Taiwanese bhikkhuni sangha, Daxingshan Nunnery, and forty of their Taiwanese lay devotees arrived at Manelwatta Temple in Bollegala, Sri Lanka. A cheerful senior monk...
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The Lorax Wears Saffron: Toward a Buddhist Environmentalism
What does it mean to ordain a tree? Would the Buddha have imagined recycling to be a practice of metta? These kinds of questions are the product of the growing attention devoted to the intersection of Buddhism and ecology. For almost two decades, scholars...
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Paternalist Deception in the Lotus Sutra: A Normative Assessment
Autonomy, Paternalism, and Appropriate Means The Lotus Sutra has had a profound influence on the lives of hundreds of millions of people, mainly in East Asia. Although many have turned to it for advice about how to live, and although it does contain...
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Does Anatman Rationally Entail Altruism? on Bodhicaryavatara 8:101-103
In the eighth chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara, the Buddhist philosopher Santideva has often been interpreted as offering an argument that accepting the ultimate nonexistence of the self (anatman) rationally entails a commitment to altruism, the view...
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Shugendo Now
Shugendo Now. A film directed by Jean-Marc Abela and produced by Mark P. Mcguire. Montreal: Empower Productions, 2009, 88 minutes, Japanese with narration; English, French, Spanish subtitles and narration, Individual use: CAD $20.00; Public/Educational...
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Can Buddhism Inform the Contemporary Western Liberal Debate on the Distribution of Wealth?
The Western Debate Over the Distribution of Wealth The main opponents in the contemporary Western debate over the distribution of wealth are the Liberal Egalitarians, who argue that inequalities should be rectified by the state, and Libertarians,...
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The Buddha and the Magadha-Vajji War
Introduction Even though the Buddha was a wandering ascetic living outside the normal social and political atmospheres of his times, he did come into touch from time to time with contemporary political events. One such event, an intriguing one if...
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Tithiyaparivasa Vis-a-Vis Noviciation in Theravadin Monasticism
Tithiyaparivasa is a four month period of probation in Theravadin monasticism for persons who are, as former members of certain non-Buddhist ascetic groups, somewhat suspect probably because their former beliefs differed radically from those of Buddhism....
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Vol. 17, Annual

Moving Forward by Agreeing to Disagree: A Response to "Healing Ecology"
David Loy has described himself here as male, Caucasian, and a U.S. citizen. We also know from his public profile that he is, among other descriptors, a Buddhist who has been authorized to teach Zen Buddhism by Master Yamada Koun Roshi of the Sanbo...
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Healing Ecology
We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. --Thich Nhat Hanh I came to realize clearly that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and the stars. --Dogen Does Buddhism...
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Founding Human Rights within Buddhism: Exploring Buddha-Nature as an Ethical Foundation
Introduction In a religion that preaches the nothingness of things and the absence of self, is there any ground for an active social advocacy for human rights? This question arises in response to a thought-provoking piece written by Professor...
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Attitudes towards Nuns: A Case Study of the Nandakovada in the Light of Its Parallels
Introduction (2) In the last issue of the JBE, I studied the Bahudhatuka-sutta and its parallels, examining in particular the dictum that a woman cannot be a Buddha, which I concluded to be with high probability a later addition to the discourse....
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The Mulasarvastivada Bhiksuni Has the Horns of a Rabbit: Why the Master's Tools Will Never Reconstruct the Master's House
Introduction No compelling evidence has been produced to indicate that Tibetan Buddhism has ever maintained a complete monastic community that included fully ordained women. Over the past several decades, however, a number of women practitioners...
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Earlier Buddhist Theories of Free Will: Compatibilism
Did the Buddha Teach Free Will? Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains a discourse whose meaning needs to be inferred as one whose meaning has already been fully drawn out. And he who explains a discourse whose meaning...
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Vol. 16, Annual

The Bahudhatuka-Sutta and Its Parallels on Women's Inabilities
Introduction According to early Buddhist thought, the ability to attain any of the four stages of awakening is independent of gender. An explicit endorsement of women's abilities to reach awakening can be found in a discourse in the Samyutta-nikaya...
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Buddhist and Tantric Perspectives on Causality and Society
In this article, I will attempt to give a critical survey of Buddhist and Indian Tantric views on the concept of causality. My intention is to highlight and illuminate some aspects of these views and to discuss how we as individuals and societies can...
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Buddhism, Nonviolence, and Power
Contemporary Buddhists have in recent decades given the world outstanding examples of nonviolent activism. Although these movements have demonstrated awe-inspiring courage and have generated massive popular support, sadly, none of them has, as yet,...
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Violence and (Non-)Resistance: Buddhist Ahimsa and Its Existential Aporias
I In his book Instinct for Freedom the contemporary dharma activist Alan Clements, a former Buddhist monk in the Burmese tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw, presents a dramatic incident from 1990 when he was with prodemocracy resistance fighters in the...
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Western Self, Asian Other: Modernity, Authenticity, and Nostalgia for "Tradition" in Buddhist Studies
Introduction There has been considerable rancor and finger-pointing in recent years concerning the intersection of the West and Buddhism. A new wave of research has focused on Orientalism and the ways in which Western ideas about Buddhism, and even...
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Vol. 15, Annual

Cooking the Buddhist Books: The Implications of the New Dating of the Buddha for the History of Early Indian Buddhism
Introduction During the last half-century, scholarly Buddhological inquiry has produced a series of utterly stunning publications on the period immediately following the Buddha's death, focusing especially on the early councils. Through the work...
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Vol. 14, Annual

What the Buddha Would Not Do, According to the Bahitika-Sutta and Its Madhyama-Agama Parallel
Abstract The Bahitika-sutta of the Majjhima-nikaya presents an inquiry into the ethical conduct of the Buddha. Based on a translation of the Madhyama-agama parallel to the Bahitika-sutta, this inquiry will be examined, taking into account differences...
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Do the Compassionate Flourish?: Overcoming Anguish and the Impulse towards Violence
Abstract In this paper I argue that in order for compassion to be considered a virtue, Western philosophical accounts of compassion must be supplemented by Buddhist understandings. After examining two potential problems with compassion (that it...
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Compassionate Violence?: On the Ethical Implications of Tantric Buddhist Ritual
Abstract Buddhism is often presented as a non-violent religion that highlights the virtue of universal compassion. However, it does not unequivocally reject the use of violence, and leaves open the possibility that violence may be committed under...
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"Freedom of the Will" in the Light of Theravada Buddhist Teachings
Abstract A well known issue in Western Philosophy is that of "freedom of the will": whether, how and in what sense human beings have genuine freedom of action in the context of a broad range of external and internal conditioning factors. Any system...
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Avoiding Unintended Harm to the Environment and the Buddhist Ethic of Intention (1)
Abstract This paper reflects on how the mainly intention-based ethics of Buddhism relates to issues of causing unintended harm across a range of issues of relevance to environmental concern, such as species protection, resource depletion and climate...
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Shakespeare, Buddha, and King Lear
Abstract Given Shakespeare's status as "the secular Bible," it is surprising that his work has not been examined more closely to consider its spiritual teachings. As Buddhist studies increase in popularity in the West, more and more Buddhist scholars...
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The Ethics of Knowledge and Action in Postmodern Organizations
Abstract Good Corporate Governance was explicitly formulated in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which became federal law in 2002. It includes ethical guidelines to regulate employee behavior and the interrelations between organizations and their shareholders....
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Leaf Blowers and Antibiotics: A Buddhist Stance for Science and Technology
Introduction Sustainable technology, like mindfulness, requires cultivation. It is a process of constantly attending in the face of considerable distraction, a process that leads to a self-balancing wholesome state that has beneficial properties...
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Vol. 13, Annual

The Samyukta-Agama Parallel to the Saleyyaka-Sutta and the Potential of the Ten Courses of Action
Abstract The present article offers a translation of the Samyukta-agama parallel to the Saleyyaka-sutta of the Majjhima-nikaya, followed by an examination of the differences found between the Chinese and Pali versions. This comparison shows the...
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Bodhisattva Precepts in the Ming Society: Factors Behind Their Success and Propagation
Abstract The wide popularization of versions of Bodhisattva precepts that were based on apocrypha coincided with certain medieval developments in technology and social/political developments. All these changes facilitated a much more pervasive "Confucianization"...
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Musavada-Virati and "Privileged Lies" (1)
Preamble The four components of miccha-vaca ("wrong speech") (2)--that is lies (specifically "conscious lying"), vulgar abuse, backbiting, and idle chatter--can hardly ever have hindered the average talker. However, "A liar should have a good memory"...
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The Sociological Implications for Contemporary Buddhism in the United Kingdom: Socially Engaged Buddhism, a Case Study
Introduction Buddhist Studies has, for well over a century, been seen by many in the academy as the domain of philologists and others whose skills are essentially in the translation and interpretation of texts derived from ancient languages like...
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Aquinas and Dogen on Poverty and the Religious Life
Abstract Recent efforts to articulate Buddhist ethics have increasingly focused on "Western" ethical systems that possess a "family resemblance" sufficient to serve as a bridge. One promising avenue is the employment of Aristotelian-Thomistic thinking...
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Introduction to "Zen Social Ethics: Historical Constraints and Present Prospects"
Abstract This is an introduction to each of the four papers, to the response, and to the discussion generated in the context of their first presentation. ********** This collection of papers is from a panel organized by Chris Ives for the...
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Zen as a Social Ethics of Responsiveness
Abstract One reason traditional Chan or Zen did not develop a comprehensive social ethics is that it arose in an East Asian milieu with axiologies (Confucian, Daoist, and Shinto) already firmly in place. Since these value orientations did not conflict...
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Satori and the Moral Dimension of Enlightenment
Abstract This essay addresses the question posed by Brian Victoria's description of "moral blindness" in twentieth-century Japanese Zen masters by claiming that since Zen monastic training does not include practices of reflection that cultivate...
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Wisdom, Compassion, and Zen Social Ethics: The Case of Chinul, Songch'ol, and Minjung Buddhism in Korea
Abstract This essay examines the possibility of Zen social ethics by contemplating the relationship between wisdom and compassion in two Korean Zen masters, Pojo Chinul and T'oe'ong Songch'ol. Unlike the common assumption that wisdom and compassion...
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Not Buying into Words and Letters: Zen, Ideology, and Prophetic Critique
Abstract Judging from the active participation of Zen leaders and institutions in modern Japanese imperialism, one might conclude that by its very nature Zen succumbs easily to ideological co-optation. Several facets of Zen epistemology and institutional...
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Saving Zen from Moral Ineptitude: A Response to "Zen Social Ethics: Historical Constraints and Present Prospects"
The four articles on the historical constraints and present prospects of a Zen social ethics are ethical essays in an exemplary sense: although they reflect on what Zen social ethics actually is or has been, their primary concern is with what a Zen...
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