Socially Engaged Buddhism: Faith‐inspired drivers of social and political change

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The global socially engaged Buddhist movement emphasis Buddhism’s engagement with society. It is a socially and politically active form of Buddhism that came into being in the twentieth century. Engaged Buddhism is a non-centralized movement that emerged in response to multiple crises in modern Asia. It has been described as a modern form of Buddhism, influenced by; modern, social, economic, psychological, and political forms of analysis of Western origin. Engaged Buddhism is, in a certain sense, a result of the great tension modern Buddhists have felt between theoretical and idealized concepts and the way these concepts have been used. Buddhism has been portrayed as otherworldly and unconcerned with the welfare of the people. That is an one-sided account that does not acknowledge that the Buddhist institutions at all times have been important actors in society. Buddhism has always been engaged and monks and nuns have been involved with the lay people as teachers, doctors, counsellors, advisers etc. However, the monks’ and the nuns’ roles have shifted over the centuries and in different contexts. Governments have taken over many of the social activities that were traditionally the responsibility of temples and monks. These include education, health care, social work, community support and development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOutlook on Civil Society
EditorsHeidi Moksnes, Mia Melin
PublisherUppsala Centre for Sustainable Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2013
EventFaith in Civil Society : Religious Actors as Drivers of Change - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 2012 Apr 242012 Apr 25

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1403-1264


ConferenceFaith in Civil Society : Religious Actors as Drivers of Change

Bibliographical note

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Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Social Sciences


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