Socially Engaged Buddhism for the New Millenium
Essays in Honor of the Ven. Phgra Dhammapitaka (Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto) On His 60th Birthday Anniversary
Edited by Sulak Sivaraksa, Pipob Udomittipong, and Chris Walker
Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation and Foundation for Children: Bangkok, 1999
(Distributed by Parallax Press, Berekely)
536 pp.; $38 (paper)
Thai Inter-Religious Commiission for Development, Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation: Bangkok, 1999
(Distributed by Parallax Press, Berkeley)
171 pp.; $15 (paper)
The Wheel of Engaged Buddhism
Weatherhill: New York, Tokyo, 1999
104 pp.; $12.95 (paper)
These three books contribute to a growing body of work on the social face of contemporary Buddhism. While significantly different in scope and focus, each one advances the idea that suffering, as taught by the Buddha in the Four Noble Truths, must be understood to include the victimization of persons and communities in a world of multinational corporations, environmental degradation, and media violence. Surely hatred, greed, and delusion, the three mental poisons in traditional Buddhist psychology, lie behind the exploitation of workers, consumers, and marginalized groups today, but the antidote can no longer be limited to spiritual practice for the victims. Spiritual and social transformation must go hand and hand.
Socially Engaged Buddhism for the New Millennium is the most ambitious collection of essays on the new Buddhism yet to appear. Comprising 37 essays by scholars, activists, monks, and lay commentators from a dozen countries in Asia and the West, this large-format paperback is dedicated to Venerable Prayudh Payutto (also known in Thailand as Dhammapitaka, Rajavaramuni, and Debvedi), a Theravada scholar-monk who has applied the ancient practice of “wise attention” (Pali yoniso-manasikara) to problems in contemporary economics, science, environmental studies, and education. The essays treat a breathtaking range of topics, including globalization and consumerism, the idolatry of the nation-state, corporate capitalism, and mechanistic science.
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