Volume 30, 2023
Buddhism and Comparative Constitutional Law. Edited by Tom Ginsburg and Benjamin Schonthal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022, xx + 384 pages, ISBN 978-1-00-928604-6 (hardback), $125.00, 978-1-00-928601-5 (e-book), $125.00, 978-1-00-928602-2 (open access PDF): https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/buddhism-and-comparative-constitutional-law/36B349A13BAFF639EC6E737A9C9FB186.
Reviewed by Miguel Álvarez Ortega
Volume 29, 2022
Collapsing Space and Time: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Ecological Humanism
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.
Volume 16, 2009
Buddhism, Nonviolence, and Power
Sallie B. King
James Madison University
Contemporary Buddhists have in recent decades given the world outstanding examples of nonviolent activism. Although these movements have demonstrated great courage and have generated massive popular support, sadly, none of them has, as yet, prevailed. In this paper I will explore how nonviolent power was exercised in these cases. I will draw upon the work of nonviolent theorist Gene Sharp to help us understand the nature and sources of nonviolent power. I will then use that material to analyze the power dynamics of the Buddhist nonviolent struggles in Vietnam during the war years, and in Burma and Tibet today. I will also reflect upon Buddhist attitudes towards the wielding of nonviolent power in conflict situations.
Volume 5 1998
Zen in Medieval Vietnam: A Study and Translation of the Thien Uyen Tap Anh. By Cuong Tu Nguyen. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1997, 488 pages, ISBN 0-8248-1948-9, US$55.00.
Reviewed by Peter C. Phan
Volume 5 1998
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. Edited by Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King. New York: State University of New York, 1996, xii + 446 pages, ISBN 0-7914-2844-3, $24.95.
Reviewed by Mavis L. Fenn