Journal of Buddhist Ethics

An online journal of Buddhist scholarship related to ethics.


The Eco-Buddhism of Marie Byles

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 22, 2015

The Eco-Buddhism of Marie Byles

Peggy James
University of Tasmania

Marie Beuzeville Byles (1900–1979) was a key figure in the historical development of Buddhism in Australia, and the nation’s conservation movement. From the 1940s she began to develop an eco-Buddhist worldview and Buddhist environmental ethic that she applied in her day-to-day conservation activities and articulated over the course of four books on Buddhism and dozens of published articles. She is recognized in Australia for her Buddhist environmental thought, the influence that her ideas had in a key environmental debate of her day, and her international profile as a Buddhist. Most histories of modern eco-Buddhism, however, do not mention Byles’s work, and there has thus far been little scholarly analysis of her writings. This paper examines Byles’s eco-Buddhist ideas and activities in detail, and assesses the historical significance of her contribution.

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Buddhist Contribution to Social Welfare in Australia

ISSN 1076—9005
Volume 8, 2001

Buddhist Contribution to Social Welfare in Australia

Patricia Sherwood
Edith Cowan University

This article outlines the contribution of Buddhist organizations in Australia to education and social welfare. It is argued that from the viewpoint of Buddhist organizations in Australia, they have always been concerned with social welfare and education issues, and this is not a new phenomenon. This is illustrated through examining services delivered by Buddhist organizations in Australia in nine areas: education of adults; education of children; working with the sick and dying in the community; working in hospitals and hospices; working in drug rehabilitation; working with the poor; working in prisons; speaking up for the oppressed; and working for non-human sentient beings. The worldviews of these Buddhist organizations that state social engagement has always been integral to their tradition will be articulated.

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A Jātaka Defence for A Monk Accused

ISSN:1076–9005
Volume 5, 1998

Echoes of Nalinika: A Monk in the Dock

Enid Adam
Edith Cowan University

How can Nalinika, one of the Buddhist Jātaka tales, be used in the Perth District Court in Perth, Western Australia, as an illustration in the defence of a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka? In the dock sat Pannasara Kahatapitye, a high-ranking monk from Colombo, facing eleven charges of sexual assault. Was this a case of cultural, religious, and political bias and misunderstanding, or of a monk breaking monastic vows and practicing immorally? Was this man a charlatan or a genuine monk being framed by dissident Sinhalese groups in Australia? Over ten days the drama developed as evidence was given before judge and jury. Throughout, the accused sat motionless in the dock, smiling benignly at all in the courtroom. Innocent or guilty? This paper describes how the issues were resolved as seen from the author’s role as a consultant to the crown prosecutor, and examines their implications for the general Buddhist community in Western Australia.

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Review: Buddhism in Australia

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 3 1996

The Buddhists in Australia. By Enid Adam and Philip J Hughes. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1992, xii + 71 pages, ISBN 0 644 35805 X, A$9.95.

Buddhism in Western Australia: alienation or integration? By Enid Adam, published by the author (eadam@echidna.stu.cowan.edu.au), x + 224 pages, ISBN 0 646 25136 8, A$19.95.

Reviewed by Helen Waterhouse

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