ENGAGED BUDDHISM . Engaged Buddhism, or "socially engaged Buddhism," denotes the rise of political activism and social service by Buddhist communities and organizations in Asia and the West since the 1950s. Paralleling a global increase of political involvement by religious groups within the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu traditions, engaged Buddhists have supported campaigns for conflict resolution, human rights, economic development, national self-determination, and environmental protection. They have undertaken medical and pastoral care, educational programs, and community building among economically marginalized and low-caste communities, women and children, persons with HIV/AIDS, and prison inmates. They have insisted that Buddhist mindfulness, morality, and social action be integrated into all facets of daily life in both ordained and lay communities. Engaged Buddhists share the belief that mindful social action is consistent with traditional notions of Buddhist practice and its goal, the universal relief of suffering, and the awakening of human potential.
The term engaged Buddhism was coined by the Vietnamese Thiền (Zen) monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926), who founded peace-oriented educational and religious institutions during the Vietnam War, led antiwar protests, rebuilt villages, resettled refugees, lobbied internationally for peace talks, and published articles and books on the crisis facing his country and the Buddhist tradition. The governments of Saigon, Hanoi, and Washington opposed these actions, and thousands of Nhat Hanh's followers were killed or jailed. In 1963 photographs of a burning monk on a Saigon street appeared in the international media, illustrating the determination of the newly engaged Buddhists. After the war, Thich Nhat Hanh, exiled from his country, spread the practice and teachings of engaged Buddhism in more than eighty-five books of commentary, poetry, and meditation, through mindfulness retreats at Plum Village in southern France, and in public gatherings throughout the world (King, 1996; Hunt-Perry and Fine, 2000).
Since the 1960s Buddhist movements for nonviolent social change and human rights have proliferated in Asia and the West. In addition to the Vietnam peace movement, these include the Buddhist conversion and anticaste movement launched in 1956 by B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956) among the dalit ("oppressed" or ex-untouchable) peoples of India; the Sarvodaya Shramadana (Universal Awakening through Cooperative Work) village development and peace movement of Sri Lanka, founded in 1958 by A. T. Ariyaratne; the struggle of the Tibetan people, both inside Tibet and in exile, led by the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, to reclaim the lands and culture devastated since the Chinese takeover of the country in 1959; the Pan-Asian movement to restore the Buddhist order of ordained women, or bhikkhunī saṃgha, in countries in which such ordination is opposed by male hierarchies; the three Nichiren-inspired "new religions" that took root in Japan after World War II and that have gained international followers for their peace and cultural renewal campaigns—Sōka Gakkai International (12 million members in 187 countries and territories), Risshō Kōseikai (6 million members worldwide), and Nipponzan Myōhōji (1,500 ordained and lay members worldwide); the Tzu-Chi Foundation (Fuojiao Tzu-chi Gongde Hui or Buddhist Compassionate-Relief Merit Society) founded in Taiwan in the 1960s by the nun Cheng-yen to defray medical expenses of the poor by collecting the equivalent of 25 cents per month from lay followers, which now claims 5 million members in 28 countries, runs 2 modern 900-bed hospitals, a university, a high school, and a TV channel in Taiwan, and directs $600 million in donations to medical relief projects in more than 30 countries around the world; in South Korea, the Buddhist Coalition for Economic Justice, the Jung To Society (environmental activism), Buddhist Solidarity for Reform (representing 40 civil organizations), and the Indra Net Life Community (representing 23 temples and Buddhist nongovernmental organizations); and the Thailand-based International Network of Engaged Buddhists, founded in 1989 by the Thai Buddhist writer and reformer Sulak Sivaraksa to provide a forum for the bourgeoning organizations and movements that share a socially engaged Buddhist perspective. (For surveys of engaged Buddhist movements in Asia, see Queen and King, 1996; and Queen, Prebish, and Keown, 2003.)
In North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa, Buddhist organizations dedicated to social activism and service have also appeared with growing frequency. The California-based Buddhist Peace Fellowship, founded in 1977 by the Zen teacher Robert Aitken, coordinates programs for community development, prison reform, and international relief through chapters in the United States and its quarterly Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism. Peacemaker Circle International, headquartered in Massachusetts and founded in 1996 by Bernie Glassman, a former aeronautical engineer and lineage holder in the Japanese Sōtō Zen tradition, sponsors "bearing witness retreats" in centers of suffering and violence, such as the streets of lower Manhattan, the death-camp sites at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, and Jewish and Palestinian communities in the Middle East. The International Campaign for Tibet, based in New York and Washington, D.C., coordinates public support for the refugee and exile communities of the Tibetan diaspora and organizes international pressure on the Chinese government to respect the human rights and cultural traditions of the Tibetan people, whom it has subjugated since 1959. Two engaged Buddhists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet (1989), and Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader in Myanmar (1991), and three others, Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, Maha Ghosananda of Cambodia, and Sulak Sivaraksa of Thailand, have been nominated for the prize.
Origins of Engaged Buddhism
The canonical and extracanonical writings of Buddhist Asia, while focusing on monastic order, personal morality, spiritual practice, and philosophical analysis, also include teachings on service to others and social policies that promote general welfare. The Pali Jātaka and Sanskrit Jātakamālā, for example, illustrate the virtues of generosity and compassion through fables in which the future Buddha, born as a deer, a monkey, a parrot, or an elephant, risks or sacrifices his life to save others from harm. Didactic texts setting forth social ethics for laypersons include the Cakkavattisihanada-sutta and the Kutadanta-sutta of the Dīgha-nikāya, which argue that crimes of property and violence are often related to poverty, and that government (i.e., the righteous king) should intervene to provide farmers with grain, merchants with investment capital, and workers with fair wages in order to promote harmonious society. Indeed, instructions to the ideal monarch (Pali, cakkavatti or dhammarāja ), such as the Dhammapadāṭṭhakathā (Buddha's advice to rulers), the "Ten Duties of the King" (dasa-rājadhamma, contained in the Jātaka ), and later Mahāyāna texts such as the Indian philosopher Nāgārjuna's Jewel Garland of Royal Counsels (second century ce) and Japanese Prince Shōtuku's Fourteen Article Constitution (sixth to seventh century ce), find early expression in the rock-hewn edicts of the Buddhist king, Aśoka Maurya (reigned in northern India c. 270 to 230 bce), promoting universal tolerance and social welfare and suggesting the pervasiveness of Buddhist ideal conceptions of a just and humane society (Harvey, 2000). The saṃgha (monastic order) founded by Siddhārtha Gautama, the historical Buddha, in the sixth to fifth century bce, would appear to embody certain progressive values and social options associated with modernity in the West: equality of access to men and women of all classes and castes, a meritocracy based on personal attainment rather than birth or wealth, and a program of self-cultivation and community development based on rational analysis and practical training rather than esoteric knowledge and ritual. Furthermore, the career of the bodhisattva or Buddhist savior that marked the rise of Mahāyāna Buddhism in the centuries following Aśoka is based on a vow to save all sentient beings from suffering and calamity.
Yet it would be wrong to conclude that the social goals of engaged Buddhists in the early twenty-first century evolved directly from Buddhist teachings in the past. As the historian Bardwell Smith has observed,
The primary goal of [traditional] Buddhism is not a stable order or a just society but the discovery of genuine freedom (or awakening) by each person. It has never been asserted that the conditions of society are unimportant or unrelated to this more important goal, but it is critical to stress the distinction between what is primary and what is not…. Even the vocation of the bodhisattva is not as social reformer but as the catalyst to personal transformation within society. (Smith, 1972, p. 106)
Since the time of the Buddha and Aśoka, many of the social and political ideals inscribed in the early literature and monuments of Buddhism have faded. Buddhist kings, such as the second-century bce Sinhalese Duṭṭhagāmiṇī, have been as prone to wage holy war against the infidel, as were their non-Buddhist neighbors, while "Chinese and Japanese military forces have used Buddhist symbols, banners, mudrās, and mantras to empower their actions and intimidate opponents" (Harvey, 2000, p. 263). In medieval Japan, the largest monasteries supported standing armies as fearsome as those of the emperor, and as late as the twentieth century "imperial-way Buddhism" (kōdō Bukkyō ), embraced by all schools, supported the nation's major wars: from those against China (1894–1895) and Russia (1904–1905) to World War II, when Zen temples sponsored meditation training camps for the armed forces, raised money to purchase new aircraft, and recruited and trained school boys for kamikaze missions for "love of Emperor and in service to Buddha" (Victoria, 1997, pp. 128–129).
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a general decline of Buddhist institutions throughout Asia. As Ian Harris has observed: "It is difficult to point to any part of the contemporary Buddhist world that has not been massively transformed by at least one aspect of modernity, be it colonialism, industrialization, telecommunications, consumerism, ultra-individualism, or totalitarianism of the left or right. In this radically new situation Buddhists have been forced to adapt or risk the possibility of substantial decline" (Harris, 2001, p. 19). In country after country—notably China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet, and Myanmar (Burma)—Buddhist leaders and institutions have been marginalized or assaulted by hostile regimes or changing social conditions. Even in nations in which the tradition was interrupted by colonialism, revolution, civil war, and invasion—such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Korea—the Buddhist saṃgha has not often been aligned with progressive politics, human rights, or social services.
Against this backdrop, progressive, nonviolent Buddhist activism has nevertheless appeared with growing frequency. "There is plenty of evidence of significant Buddhist involvement in anticolonial movements, particularly since the Second World War. Similarly, new or revamped Buddhist organizations with strongly nationalist, reformist, social-activist, therapeutic or reactionary-fundamentalist character are much in evidence throughout the 20th century," according to Harris (2001, p. 19). These spontaneous, often charismatic movements represent a marked departure from state-supported Buddhist establishments of the past. Engaged Buddhist movements of the twentieth century "direct their energies toward social conditions over which the state has legal authority, if not control; but their objective is to influence the exercise of temporal power, not to wield it" (Queen, 1996, p. 19). As Sulak Sivaraksa, Thailand's leading Buddhist intellectual and founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, has written: "Buddhism, as practiced in most Asian countries today, serves mainly to legitimize dictatorial regimes and multinational corporations. If we Buddhists want to redirect our energies towards enlightenment and universal love, we should begin by spelling Buddhism with a small 'b'"—in contrast to the "capital-B Buddhism" that shares influence and favors with the power elite (Sivaraksa, 1993, p. 68).
Engaged Buddhism in Asia is thus an emerging grassroots movement that may be traced across national and sectarian boundaries—not a series of reforms instituted by local governments or religious hierarchies. Even when Buddhist movements and leaders have ties to temporal power, such as the Dalai Lama's dual role as spiritual and temporal head of Tibet, the Sōka Gakkai's affiliation with the Kōmeitō political party in Japan, and the "friendly relations" (jie-yuan) between the Taiwanese government and the Tzu Chi Compassionate Relief Foundation and the Foguang Shan sect of Pure Land Buddhism, each of these movements is both independent of state power (it is worth recalling that the Dalai Lama is the exiled leader of Tibet) and increasingly globalized in its relations with Tibetan, Japanese, and Taiwanese ethnic diasporas and with their nonnative members and supporters around the world. The transnational, transsectarian or nonsectarian character of engaged Buddhism often derives from the life experience of its leaders, charismatic personalities whose education and careers linked or blended Asian and Western influences. Ambedkar chose Columbia University in New York and the University of London for his graduate training; Thich Nhat Hanh studied and lectured at Princeton and Columbia, traveled to nineteen countries in Europe and North America in his quest for peace in Vietnam, and associated closely with the American religious leaders Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King Jr.; and the young Taiwanese Venerable Cheng-yen, founder of the Tzu Chi Foundation, rejected conversion to Christianity by convincing three Catholic missionary nuns of the universal compassion of the Buddha while at the same time acknowledging that Buddhists must emulate Christians in serving the poor by building hospitals and schools.
The cultural hybridity of the new Buddhism—as well as its activism and social service—may be traced to the interaction of Buddhists and Christians in the late Victorian era. Representative figures include the founders of the Theosophical Society, Henry Steel Olcott and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who publicly converted to Buddhism in Colombo in 1880, and their associate, the Sinhalese Buddhist activist Anagārika Dharmapāla (Don David Hewavitarne), who, with the Japanese Zen master Shaku Sōen and the Hindu swami Vivekananda, electrified crowds at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 with their evangelical fervor for the wisdom of the East. By this time, Sir Edwin Arnold's romantic verse narrative of the life of the Buddha, The Light of Asia, had become a best-seller in the English-speaking world. Thomas Tweed remarked on the growing consensus among Buddhists and their admirers in the West regarding the social impact of religious faith: "With few exceptions, Buddhist apologists stood united with American critics, travelers, and scholars in implicitly or explicitly affirming the role of religion in stimulating effective economic, political, and social activity. Almost all participants in Victorian culture and contributors to the public discourse about Buddhism agreed: whatever else true religion was, it was optimistic and activistic" (Tweed, 1992, p. 155).
Teachings of Engaged Buddhism
Traditional teachings of the Buddhist dharma often find new meaning and application in the practice of engaged Buddhism. Familiar doctrines such as nonviolence, interdependence, selflessness, mindfulness, and compassion are interpreted in ways that address social and institutional dimensions of suffering in the world. Likewise, ethical guidelines such as right speech, right livelihood, and skillful means are understood in ways that acknowledge structural shifts in the economic life, geopolitics, and information technology of the early twenty-first century.
Sulak Sivaraksa interprets the traditional five precepts (pancha shila) to encompass institutional and transnational realities as well as interpersonal morality, for example. Non-harming is conceived in a global context:
Hunger is caused only by unequal economic and power structures that do not allow food to end up where it is needed, even when those in need are the food producers. And we must look at the sales of arms and challenge these structures, which are responsible for murder. Killing permeates our modern way of life—wars, racial conflicts, breeding animals to serve human markets, and using harmful insecticides. (Sivaraksa, 1993, p. 74)
Likewise, non-stealing is treated in terms of economic justice ("right livelihood") and voluntary simplicity. Sexual misconduct concerns the global exploitation of women by male hierarchies, as well as the global traffic in pornography and prostitution. Avoiding false speech entails the responsible use of the mass media, education, and political discourse in order to rescue truth from propaganda and trivialization and to confront power elites with the effects of their policies. The fifth precept, against intoxicants, offers Sivaraksa the occasion to consider the economic addiction of Third World farmers to the production of heroin, coco, coffee, and tobacco as well as the use of related products that cloud the mind, for "in Buddhism, a clear mind is a precious gem" (Sivaraksa, 1993, pp. 75–79).
The twin virtues of wisdom and compassion are understood in similar ways by the Vietnamese Thich Nhat Hanh and the American Bernie Glassman, two influential voices of engaged Buddhism. In his "Tiep Hien Order Precepts," Nhat Hanh warns: "Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views…. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sound. By such means awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world" (Nhat Hanh, 1987, pp. 90–91). Glassman Roshi invites his followers to follow the "Zen Peacemaker Order Tenets" (1998): "I commit myself to not-knowing, the source of all manifestations…. I commit myself to bearing witness fully by allowing myself to be touched by the joy and pain of the universe. I invite all hungry spirits into the mandala of my being and commit my energy and love to my own healing, the healing of the earth, humanity and all creations" (Glassman, 1998, pp. 68–89). In these teachings, wisdom is associated with a radical agnosticism in a world of violently competing ideologies in the hope that a mindful openness to the experience of others will result in a deeper identification and commitment to help. Likewise, both teachings illustrate a special concern for suffering beings (echoing the "preferential option for the poor" of the liberation theology of Latin American Catholicism), whereby the Buddhist vow of universal compassion is enacted in concrete programs of service and activism (Queen, 2002).
Buddhist environmentalism is a striking example of the adaptation of the traditional Buddhist worldview to contemporary modes of thought, specifically the findings of modern science. While the Buddhist teachings of the "wheel of life" and "dependent co-origination" were not based on modern theories of evolutionary biology, for example, their metaphorical expression in the ancient literature has resonated strongly for ecological activists in the early twenty-first century. Illustrating how the language of awakening and liberation may be projected from individual to ecosystem, Joanna Macy invokes the general systems theory of Ludwig von Bertalanffy and Ervin Laszlo to make the connection:
Far from the nihilism and escapism that is often imputed to the Buddhist path, this liberation, this awakening puts one into the world with a livelier, more caring sense of social engagement. The sense of interconnectedness that can then arise, is imaged—in one of the most beautiful images of the Mahayana—as the jeweled net of Indra. It is a vision of reality structured very much like the holographic view of the universe, so that each being is at each node of the net, each jewel reflects all the others, reflecting back and catching the reflection, just as systems theory sees that the part contains the whole. (Macy, 1990, p. 61)
In practical terms, engaged Buddhist monks in Thailand have faced arrest for "ordaining" trees in the rainforests to protect them from clear-cutting by international timber cartels (Darlington, 2003), while members of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship have participated in nonviolent civil disobedience to prevent nuclear testing at the U.S. government test site in Nevada (Kaza, 2000).
Perhaps the most significant shift, or enlargement, of meaning in the practice of engaged Buddhism involves the central doctrine of suffering (Pali, dukkha ). The Buddha is credited with saying, "In the past, bhikkhus, as well as now, I teach only dukkha and the utter quenching of dukkha " (Alagaddupama-sutta, Majjhima-nikāya [M.i.140], cited in Santikaro Bhikkhu, 1996, p. 156). As elaborated in the four noble truths, suffering is universal, it is rooted in psychological craving born of ignorance, it is "quenchable" in the peace of nirvāṇa (freedom from craving and other mental defilements), and it is subject to the benefits of the eightfold path: efficacious view, aspiration, action, speech, livelihood, exertion, mindfulness, and concentration. Yet the logic underlying this and other early teachings is that dukkha is both the experience and the responsibility of the sufferer. There can be no victims; every sufferer is held accountable for his or her own misery. Here the cure depends on the effort of the sufferer to tread the eightfold path or, in the case of the Pure Land tradition popular in central and East Asia, to entreat Amitābha Buddha to intervene on one's behalf. In the case of the Mahāyāna bodhisattva who vows to save all sentient beings, the mechanism remains a change of heart and behavior on the part of each being, never a group dispensation for all who are fortunate enough to hear the dharma and enact its injunctions or to receive the mercy of a buddha or bodhisattva.
The hallmark of engaged Buddhism, on the other hand, is its collectivist application of the teaching of interdependence (Pali, paṭiccasamuppāda ) to the experience of suffering in the world. For if it is possible to suffer as a result of social conditions or natural circumstances that transcend one's psychological (or karmic) states of being—such as poverty, injustice, tyranny, or natural disaster—then dukkha must be addressed in a collective way to remove these conditions for all members of the affected group. Thus in Sivaraksa's interpretation of the five precepts is an abiding concern with all who are hungry and injured by wars, racial conflicts, environmental pollution, and economic conditions that favor the farming, manufacture, and marketing of deadly drugs. For Ambedkar and the 380,000 dalits who embraced Buddhism on October 14, 1956, the ceremony offered hope to millions oppressed by the Hindu caste system, while the college students, monks, and villagers who dig wells and build schools in more than 11,000 villages in Sri Lanka believe they embody the name of their sponsoring organization, Sarvodaya Shramadana (Universal Awakening through Cooperative Work).
This evolution of Buddhist ethics from one of individual discipline, virtue, and altruism to one of collective suffering, struggle, and liberation illustrates the cultural interaction and mutual sharing with religious and political ideas of the West, such as the notions of covenant community, social justice, and prophetic witness of the biblical Hebrews and Christians, and the secular conceptions of human rights, judicial due process, and democracy associated with Greek humanism, Roman and Anglo-Saxon law, the scientific and social Enlightenment of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, and the pragmatism and progressivism of nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. In this regard, Ambedkar stands as an exemplar of the synthesis of the ancient and modern, intellectual and activist, and personal and institutional dimensions of engaged Buddhism. As one of the first untouchables to attend college in India, Ambedkar emulated the ecumenical tolerance of the Muslim-Hindu poet-saint Kabīr (c. 1440–1580), the anticaste activism of the Maharashtrian educator Mahatma Phule (1827–1890), and the social and spiritual reformism he found in the life and teachings of the Buddha. As a graduate student at Columbia University in New York from 1913 to 1916, Ambedkar absorbed the pragmatic philosophy of his mentor John Dewey (1859–1952) as well as the Social Gospel of Protestant theologians like Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918), who wrote that religion is "not a matter of saving human atoms, but of saving the social organism. It is not a matter of getting individuals to heaven, but of transforming life on earth into the harmony of heaven" (Rauschenbusch, 1964/1909, p. 65). And, as an activist for untouchable rights in the decades leading up to Indian independence and as law minister and chairman of the constitution drafting committee in Jawaharlal Nehru's first government, Ambedkar added to his emerging worldview the slogans of Western progressivism, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" and "Educate, Agitate, Organize," and the theories of law and government he encountered at the University of London and Gray's Inn. All of these influences were woven seamlessly into the traditional rendering of the Buddha's life and teachings in Ambedkar's final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma (1957)—a manifesto of engaged Buddhism that remains the bible for tens of millions of Ambedkar's Buddhists followers in the early twenty-first century.
When Ambedkar was asked by reporters what kind of Buddhism he would embrace at the mass Buddhist conversion in 1956, he replied: "Our Buddhism will follow the tenets of the faith preached by Lord Buddha himself, without stirring up the old divisions of Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna. Our Buddhism will be a Neo-Buddhism—a Navayana " (paraphrased from Keer, 1971, p. 498). Many teachings and practices of engaged Buddhism transcend the ancient yanas or sectarian "vehicles"—the Hīnayāna or "elite vehicle," the Mahāyāna or "universal vehicle," and the Vajrayāna or "diamond vehicle"—by drawing teachings and practices from them all and by adapting these in keeping with modern notions of suffering, human rights, social reform, and environmental sustainability. Accordingly, some observers have proposed that Ambedkar's Navayana ("new vehicle"), prefiguring the beliefs and practices of engaged Buddhism as a global movement today, represents the emergence of a "fourth yana " in the history of Buddhism; others argue that the patterns of thought and action of the "engaged" Buddhists fall comfortably within the purview of traditional Buddhism (Queen, 2000, pp. 22–26). Whichever interpretation meets the tests of history, the sharp rise of Buddhist social engagement and activism in the twentieth century and the pervasiveness of its influence on Buddhist institutions and ideology is not in dispute.
Aitken, Robert. The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics. San Francisco, 1984. Essays by a founder of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.
Ambedkar, B. R. The Buddha and His Dhamma. 3d ed. Bombay, 2001. Has achieved canonical status for ex-untouchable Buddhist converts in India.
Chappell, David, ed. Buddhist Peacework: Creating Cultures of Peace. Boston, 2000. Brief essays by engaged Buddhist thinkers and movement leaders in Asia and the West.
Dalai Lama. Policy of Kindness: An Anthology of Writings by and about the Dalai Lama. Ithaca, N.Y., 1990. The Nobel Peace laureate reflects with others on Buddhism and history.
Darlington, Susan M. "Buddhism and Development: The Ecology Monks of Thailand." In Action Dharma: New Studies in Engaged Buddhism, edited by Christopher S. Queen, Charles Prebish, and Damien Keown, pp. 96–109. London, 2003.
Eppsteiner, Fred, ed. The Path of Compassion: Writings on Socially Engaged Buddhism. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif., 1988. A widely influential collection featuring the most prominent actors and commentators in the late 1980s.
Glassman, Bernard. Bearing Witness: A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace. New York, 1998. Sequel to Instructions to the Cook (1996), detailing a Zen Roshi's innovative experiments in social engagement.
Gross, Rita. Buddhism after Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. Albany, N.Y., 1993. Historical analysis and manifesto by an activist-scholar; a touchstone of Buddhist feminism.
Harris, Ian, ed. Buddhism and Politics in Twentieth-Century Asia. London, 2001.
Harvey, Peter. An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values, and Issues. London, 2000. A useful survey of the classical foundations of engaged Buddhism.
Hunt-Perry, Patricia, and Lyn Fine. "All Buddhism Is Engaged: Thich Nhat Hanh and the Order of Interbeing." In Engaged Buddhism in the West, edited by Christopher S. Queen, pp. 35–65. Boston, 2000.
Kaza, Stephanie. "To Save All Beings: Buddhist Environmental Activism." In Engaged Buddhism in the West, edited by Christopher Queen, pp. 159–217. Boston, 2000.
Keer, Dhananjay. Dr. Ambedkar: Life and Mission. 3d ed. Bombay, 1971.
King, Sallie B. "Thich Nhat Hanh and the Unified Buddhist Church: Nondualism in Action." In Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, edited by Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King, pp. 321–363. Albany, N.Y., 1996.
Kraft, Kenneth, ed. Inner Peace, World Peace: Essays on Buddhism and Nonviolence. Albany, N.Y., 1992. Critical essays by scholars and practitioners of engaged Buddhism.
Leyland, Winston, ed. Queer Dharma: Voices of Gay Buddhists. 2 vols. San Francisco, 1998. Pathbreaking essays on Buddhism, gender, and sexual preference.
Ling, Trevor. Buddhism, Imperialism, and War: Burma and Thailand in Modern History. London, 1979.
Macy, Joanna. "The Greening of the Self." In Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology, edited by Allan Hunt Badiner. Berkeley, Calif., 1990.
Macy, Joanna. Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Natural Systems. Albany, N.Y., 1991. Offers a full exposition of a systems theory of Buddhist ethics.
Nhat Hanh, Thich. Being Peace. Berkeley, Calif., 1987. See pages 90–91. The most influential collection of teachings by the Vietnamese Zen teacher and activist.
Queen, Christopher S. "Introduction: The Shapes and Sources of Engaged Buddhism." In Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, edited by Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King, p. 19. Albany, 1996.
Queen, Christopher S. "The Peace Wheel: Nonviolent Activism in the Buddhist Tradition." In Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions, edited by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, pp. 25–48. Cambridge, Mass., 1998.
Queen, Christopher S. "Engaged Buddhism: Agnosticism, Interdependence, Globalization." In Westward Dharma: Buddhism beyond Asia, edited by Charles S. Prebish and Martin Baumann, pp. 324–347. Berkeley, Calif., 2002.
Queen, Christopher S., ed. Engaged Buddhism in the West. Boston, 2000. Comprehensive treatment of eighteen movements in North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.
Queen, Christopher S., and Sallie B. King, eds. Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. Albany, N.Y., 1996. The first scholarly treatment of engaged Buddhism, surveying nine movements.
Queen, Christopher S., Charles Prebish, and Damien Keown, eds. Action Dharma: New Studies in Engaged Buddhism. London, 2003. Historical, ethnographic, and methodological essays from the Journal of Buddhist Ethics online conference.
Rauschenbusch, Walter. Christianity and the Social Crisis (1909). New York, 1964.
Rothberg, Donald. "Resources on Socially Engaged Buddhism." Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism (Spring 2004): 30–37. A comprehensive bibliography of books, articles, and online references.
Santikaro Bikkhu. "Buddhadasa Bhikkhu: Life and Society through the Natural Eyes of Voidness." In Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, edited by Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King. Albany, N.Y., 1996.
Sivaraksa, Sulak. Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society. Berkeley, Calif., 1993. Selected essays by the Thai Budhhist activist.
Smith, Bardwell L. "Sinhalese Buddhism and the Dilemmas of Reinterpretation." In The Two Wheels of Dhamma: Essays on the Theravada Tradition in India and Ceylon, edited by Bardwell L. Smith, Frank Reynolds, and Gananath Obeyesekere. Chambersberg, Pa., 1972.
Tucker, Mary Evelyn, and Duncan Williams, eds. Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds. Cambridge, Mass., 1998. Scholarly papers on Buddhist environmentalism presented at a Harvard University conference.
Tweed, Thomas A. The American Encounter with Buddhism: 1844–1912, Victorian Culture and the Limits of Dissent. Bloomington, Ind., 1992.
Victoria, Brian. Zen at War. New York, 1997. Pathbreaking work on Budhhism and violence.
Yarnell, Thomas Freeman. "Engaged Buddhism: New and Improved? Made in the USA of Asian Materials." In Action Dharma: New Studies in Engaged Buddhism, edited by Christopher S. Queen, Charles Prebish, and Damien Keown, eds., pp. 286–344. London, 2003.
Christopher S. Queen (2005)