Buddhist Warfare

Oxford University Press
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Though traditionally regarded as a peaceful religion, Buddhism has a dark side. On multiple occasions over the past fifteen centuries, Buddhist leaders have sanctioned violence, and even war. The eight essays in this book focus on a variety of Buddhist traditions, from antiquity to the present, and show that Buddhist organizations have used religious images and rhetoric to support military conquest throughout history. Buddhist soldiers in sixth century China were given the illustrious status of Bodhisattva after killing their adversaries. In seventeenth century Tibet, the Fifth Dalai Lama endorsed a Mongol ruler's killing of his rivals. And in modern-day Thailand, Buddhist soldiers carry out their duties undercover, as fully ordained monks armed with guns. Buddhist Warfare demonstrates that the discourse on religion and violence, usually applied to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, can no longer exclude Buddhist traditions. The book examines Buddhist military action in Tibet, China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and shows that even the most unlikely and allegedly pacifist religious traditions are susceptible to the violent tendencies of man.
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About the author

Michael Jerryson is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University. Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and Global Studies, and Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jan 8, 2010
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780199741380
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Buddhism / General
Religion / Buddhism / Rituals & Practice
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This collection of essays presents groundbreaking work from an interdisciplinary group of leading theorists and scholars representing the fields of history, philosophy, political science, sociology, and anthropology. The volume will introduce readers to some of the most compelling new conceptual and theoretical understandings of secularism and the secular, while also examining socio-political trends involving the relationship between the religious and the secular from a variety of locations across the globe. In recent decades, the public has become increasingly aware of the important role religious commitments play in the cultural, social, and political dynamics of domestic and world affairs. This so called ''resurgence'' of religion in the public sphere has elicited a wide array of responses, including vehement opposition to the very idea that religious reasons should ever have a right to expression in public political debate. The current global landscape forces scholars to reconsider not only once predominant understandings of secularization, but also the definition and implications of secular assumptions and secularist positions. The notion that there is no singular secularism, but rather a range of multiple secularisms, is one of many emerging efforts to reconceptualize the meanings of religion and the secular. Rethinking Secularism surveys these efforts and helps to reframe discussions of religion in the social sciences by drawing attention to the central issue of how ''the secular'' is constituted and understood. It provides valuable insight into how new understandings of secularism and religion shape analytic perspectives in the social sciences, politics, and international affairs.
"With all entries followed by cross-references and further reading lists, this current resource is ideal for high school and college students looking for connecting ideas and additional sources on them. The work brings together the many facets of global studies into a solid reference tool and will help those developing and articulating an ideological perspective." — Library Journal

The Encyclopedia of Global Studies is the reference work for the emerging field of global studies. It covers both transnational topics and intellectual approaches to the study of global themes, including the globalization of economies and technologies; the diaspora of cultures and dispersion of peoples; the transnational aspects of social and political change; the global impact of environmental, technological, and health changes; and the organizations and issues related to global civil society.

Key Themes:
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Readership:
Students and academics in the fields of politics and international relations, international business, geography and environmental studies, sociology and cultural studies, and health.
This groundbreaking anthology provides the most comprehensive overview for understanding the fascinating relationship between religion and violence--historically, culturally, and in the contemporary world. Bringing together writings from scholarly and religious traditions, it is the first volume to unite primary sources--justifications for violence from religious texts, theologians, and activists--with invaluable essays by authoritative scholars.

The first half of the collection includes original source materials justifying violence from various religious perspectives: Hindu, Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist. Showing that religious violence is found in every tradition, these sources include ancient texts and scriptures along with thoughtful essays from theologians wrestling with such issues as military protection and pacifism. The collection also includes the writings of modern-day activists involved in suicide bombings, attacks on abortion clinics, and nerve gas assaults. The book's second half features well-known thinkers reflecting on why religion and violence are so intimately related and includes excerpts from early social theorists such as Durkheim, Marx, and Freud, as well as contemporary thinkers who view the issue of religious violence from literary, anthropological, postcolonial, and feminist perspectives. The editors' brief introductions to each essay provide important historical and conceptual contexts and relate the readings to one another. The diversity of selections and their accessible length make this volume ideal for both students and general readers.

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