Journal of Buddhist Ethics

An online journal of Buddhist scholarship related to ethics.

Archive for the ‘Volume 29 2022’


Review: Engaged Buddhism

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

An Introduction to Engaged Buddhism. By Paul Fuller. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021, 248 pages. ISBN 978-1-350-12907-8 (hardback), $63.00/978-1-350-12906-1 (paperback), $19.47/ 978-1-350-12909-2 (e-book), $18.86.

Reviewed by Christopher Queen

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Review: A History of Chinese Buddhist Faith and Life

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

A History of Chinese Buddhist Faith and Life. Studies on East Asian Religions 3. By Kai Sheng. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2020, x + 596 pages. ISBN 978-90-04-43152-2 (hardback), $192, 978-90-04-43177-5 (e-book), $192.

Reviewed by Jennifer Eichman

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Shabkar’s Narrative Argument for Vegetarianism and the Ethical Treatment of Animals

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

Taking Animals Seriously: Shabkar’s Narrative Argument for Vegetarianism and the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Rachel H. Pang
Davidson College

Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol’s (1781-1851) collected works present one of the most sustained treatments of vegetarianism and animal ethics in Tibetan literature. His arguments for vegetarianism adopt two main formats: philosophical prose and narrative. In this essay, I analyze Shabkar’s implicit argument for vegetarianism and the ethical treatment of animals in the narrative passages of his autobiography that describe his interactions with animals. By including animals as significant interlocutors in his autobiography, Shabkar reframes the relationship between animals and humans to be less anthropocentric and more based on the ideal of impartiality (phyogs ris med pa). In turn, this serves as an implicit narrative argument for the adoption of a vegetarian diet. This mode of argumentation differs from the majority of arguments for vegetarianism in Tibetan Buddhist literature which tend to be more philosophical in nature. Shabkar’s narrative mode of argument is an example of the “act of social imagination” first identified by Charles Hallisey and Anne Hansen in South and Southeast Asian Buddhist narratives. These types of narratives cultivate an ethical ideal in an audience by prompting the audience into an “act of social imagination” that in turn forms the foundation for moral agency.

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Review: Buddhism and Intelligent Technology

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

Buddhism and Intelligent Technology: Toward a More Humane Future. By Peter D. Hershock. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021, 280 pages. ISBN 978-1-350-18227-1 (paperback), $26.95/978-1-350-18226-4 (hardback), $90.00/978-1-350-18228-8 (e-book), $24.25.

Reviewed by Soraj Hongladarom

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Thich Nhat Hanh’s Ecological Humanism

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

Collapsing Space and Time: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Ecological Humanism

Victor Thasiah
California Lutheran University

Identifying with non-human organisms, such as flora and fauna, and non-living members of the natural world, such as winds and clouds, was central to Thich Nhat Hanh’s (1926–2022) practice of Buddhism and conduct of resistance during the Vietnam War. This deep affinity with nature enabled him to “become himself” and sustain his public service and humanitarian work under duress. We examine Nhat Hanh’s extended accounts of identifying with the natural world during the war, relevant material from his 1962–1966 memoirs and 1963 poem “Butterflies over the Golden Mustard Fields.” They set out what we call his ecological humanism, his paradoxical overcoming of self-alienation through a close rapport with relatively wild nature. With no critical biography yet available, this focused, ecocritical interpretation, the first of its kind on Nhat Hanh during this major period, contributes to a better sense of the making of this global Buddhist influencer, who at the time was nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Review: The Forgotten Monk Who Faced Down the British Empire

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

The Irish Buddhist: The Forgotten Monk Who Faced Down the British Empire. By Alicia Turner, Laurence Cox, and Brian Bocking. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020, 336 pages, ISBN 978-0-19-007308-4 (hardback), $39.95.

Reviewed by Victor Forte

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Review: Aesthetic Education at Tibet’s Mindröling Monastery

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 29, 2022

A Buddhist Sensibility: Aesthetic Education at Tibet’s Mindröling Monastery. By Dominique Townsend. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-231-19487-7 (hardback), $120/978-0-231-19487-7 (paperback), $30/978-0-231-55105-2 (e-book), $29.99.

Reviewed by Nancy G. Lin

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