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Dissing Thay: Socially Engaged Buddhism and the Problem of Nonviolence
Non-violence, or non-harming (ahimsa), is the first precept and a core teaching of classical Buddhism. And yet, despite its historical centrality and current popularity, the concept and ways of practicing non-violence have rarely been elucidated in Buddhist tradition. In particular, there has been little analysis within Buddhism of the problems of structural violence embedded in social, political and economic systems. In this exploratory paper, I examine some of the writings of Thích Nhất Hạnh (1926–2022)—revered Vietnamese Thien (Zen) Buddhist teacher and activist who is generally considered the “father” of Socially Engaged Buddhism—in an attempt to rethink the meaning and significance of the theory and practice “violence” and “non-violence” within contemporary Buddhism.

Jun 8, 2022 02:00 PM in Vancouver

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