Journal of Buddhist Ethics

An online journal of Buddhist scholarship related to ethics.

Social Engagement in Western Buddhism

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 2 1995

Practicing Peace: Social Engagement in Western Buddhism

Kenneth Kraft
Lehigh University

This essay examines some current concerns of socially engaged Buddhists in the West. How does one practice nonviolence in one’s own life and in the world? How can the demands of “inner” and “outer” work be reconciled? What framework should be used in assessing the effects of Buddhist-inspired activism? Today’s engaged Buddhists do not refer extensively to Buddhism’s ethical tradition, and some of their activities may not appear to be distinctively Buddhist. Nonetheless, their efforts reflect a longstanding Mahāyāna ideal — that transcendental wisdom is actualized most meaningfully in compassionate action.

Read article

Journal Editors and Editorial Board


General Editor


Daniel Cozort
Dickinson College


Associate Editor

James Mark Shields
Bucknell University


Assistant Editor

Ananda Reed

Assistant Editor

Rick Repetti


Assistant Editor

Dion Peoples


Book Review Editor


Victor Forte
Albright College

Area Editors

Erik Hammerstrom
Pacific Lutheran University
China and East Asia

Erik Braun
University of Virginia
Theravada/South and Southeast Asia

Cameron David Warner
Aarhus Universitet

Deba Mitra Barua
University of Saskatchewan
Western/Global Buddhism

Hwansoo Kim
Duke University
Japan and Korea


Copy Editors

Katrina Jurgill Briddell
Meg Foss
Stefanie Handshaw
Kristy Medvetz
Amanda Nichols
James F. Pierce
Natalie Quli
Win Reilly
Mary Sheldon
Courtney Shroeder
Ven. Khenmo Trinlay
Samantha Weiner
Justin Whitaker


Founding Editors Emeritus

Damien Keown
University of London Goldsmiths College

Charles S. Prebish
Utah State University
Penn State University


Editorial Board

Ven. Anālayo, University of Hamburg
George Bond, Northwestern University
Barbra Clayton, Mount Allison University
Alice Collett, University of York
Richard Gombrich, Oxford University
Peter Harvey, Sunderland University
Maria Heim, Amherst College
Christopher Ives, Stonehill College
Charles B. Jones, Catholic University of America
Damien Keown, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Sallie King, James Madison University
Kenneth Kraft, Lehigh University
Karen Lang, University of Virginia
Todd Lewis, College of Holy Cross
David Loy, Independent Scholar
William Magee, Uma Institute
Guy M. Newland, Central Michigan University
Jin Y. Park, American University
Charles S. Prebish, Utah State University
Christopher Queen, Harvard University
Mark Siderits, Illinois State University
Ven. Jampa Tsedroen, University of Hamburg