Category Archives: Volume 10 2003

Foundations of Ethics and Practice in Chinese Pure Land Buddhism

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 10 2003

Foundations of Ethics and Practice in Chinese Pure Land Buddhism

Charles B. Jones
The Catholic University of America

The primary goal of this project was to find a Chinese text that took on the relationship between human religious activity and the saving power of Amitābha in a systematic way. Alas, such a text has so far eluded me. However, by looking at several texts, I have been able to find hints and indications here and there which, added together, constitute a fairly complete and consistent soteriological scheme that relates self-power to other-power. Fully aware of the hermeneutical dangers one faces in collating proof-texts from works spanning greatly-separated times and places around the Chinese empire, I will venture to lay it out as best I can with some confidence that it indeed represents a characteristically Chinese way of approaching the relationship of self-power and other-power, human striving and the Buddha’s original vow-power. I will do this by focusing on a particular arena of human religious activity: ethics and precepts, “ethics” indicating general norms of human behavior, and “precepts” meaning specific vows taken in ritual contexts.

Read article

Buddhism and the War on Terror

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 10 2003

From Vulnerability to Virtuosity: Buddhist Reflections on Responding to Terrorism and Tragedy

Peter D. Hershock
East-West Center

Here, I want to reflect on how we—both privately and publicly—have been responding to the horrific events of September 11. The declared war on terrorism—a central part of our public response—has not ended, but has instead spread and intensified. Along with this, our “enemies” have multiplied. Parents, sons, and daughters continue to be killed, sacrificed singly or in small groups, by the dozens, or—as in Bali on October 12, 2002—by the hundreds. My intention is not to analyze the complex geopolitics of the “war on terror.” Neither is it to critically assess either specific policy decisions or their effects on the quality of daily life and civil liberties. Instead, I want to offer some general observations about terrorism and tragedy and then, from a Buddhist perspective, to begin reflecting on our broad strategies for responding to them and to the realization of our individual and collective vulnerability.

Read article

Luminary Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan

SSN 1076-9005
Volume 10 2003

Luminary Buddhist Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan: A Quiet Feminist Movement

Wei-yi Cheng
School of Oriental and African Studies

Luminary order is a well-respected Buddhist nuns’ order in Taiwan. In this essay, I will examine the phenomenon of Luminary nuns from three aspects: symbol, structure, and education. Through the examination of the three aspects, I will show why the phenomenon of Luminary nuns might be seen as a feminist movement. Although an active agent in many aspects, I will also show that the success of Luminary nuns has its roots in the social, historical, and economic conditions in Taiwan.

Read article

Conference: Buddhism and Conflict in Sri Lanka

SSN 1076-9005
Volume 10 2003

Bath Conference on “Buddhism and Conflict in Sri Lanka”


Theravāda Attitudes Toward Violence

Dr. Mahinda Deegalle

Recording, Translating and Interpreting Sri Lankan Chronicle Data

Bhikku Professor Dhammavihari

Response to Ven. Prof. Dhammavihari

Prof. Heinz Bechert

The Buddha’s Attitude Toward Social Concerns as Depicted in the Pāli Canon

Dr. Mudagamuwe Maithrimurthi

An Analysis of the Selected Statements Issued by the Mahanayakas on the North-East Problem of Sri Lanka

Ven. Akuratiye Nanda

The Place for a Righteous War in Buddhism

Prof. P.D. Premasiri

The Role of the Sangha in the Conflict in Sri Lanka

Prof. Asanga Tilakaratne

Buddhism, Ethnicity, and Identity: A Problem of Buddhist History

Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere