Buddhist Studies Review, Vol 38, No 1 (2021)

But Is It Buddhist?

Blaze Marpet
Issued Date: 28 Jul 2021

Abstract


In If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence, Michael Jerryson reports that his research on Buddhist violence frequently elicits two responses. The first is that the violence he has analyzed is not really Buddhist because true Buddhists are non-violent. The second is that instances of putatively Buddhist violence are not really Buddhist because they are ultimately about something besides religion, such as ethnicity, politics, or economics. This paper offers a thoroughgoing refutation of both of these responses. First, there is no principled way to establish the claim that true Buddhists are non-violent. Second, the claim that putatively Buddhist violence is ultimately about something besides religion does not provide reason against classifying the violence as “Buddhist.”

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DOI: 10.1558/bsrv.43217

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