Buddhism and Social Justice
From 23-25 April 2014, a conference will be held on the topic of Buddhism and Social Justice. This conference confronts the common perception of Buddhism as intrinsically a tradition of peace and justice, and explores the various ways in which historically Buddhist societies of Asia have shaped, transmitted, and adapted Buddhist ideas and ideals about equality, fairness, and freedom.
Day after day, newspaper headlines tell us about Buddhist —even monastic-led—violence against Muslims in Burma (Myanmar), against Tamils in Sri Lanka, about the Royal Thai Navy towing boatloads of refugees out to sea and abandoning them. This clashes rather violently with a common impression of Buddhism as a tradition of peace and justice.
This conference confronts this common perception of Buddhism as intrinsically a tradition of peace and justice, and explores the various ways in which historically Buddhist societies of Asia have shaped, transmitted, and adapted Buddhist ideas and ideals about equality, fairness, and freedom. What role—if any—do these ideas and ideals play in these societies?
Buddhist visions of ideal societies
The NWO-funded VICI project “Buddhism and Social Justice” gathers scholars from around the world to discuss Classical and contemporary Buddhist notions of justice and their real world reflexes. The conference deals with Buddhist visions of ideal or just societies, freedom and slavery, social hierarchy and mobility, economic opportunity, and power and self-determination.
Among the talks, several may appeal to a broader audience interested in contemporary political issues, including presentations on social justice in modern Cambodia, ethnic tensions between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingyas in Arakan (Western Myanmar/Burma), and law and religion in contemporary Sri Lanka.
Guests are free to attend, but we request registration so we can prepare for seating and coffee.
Date and venue
23-25 April 2014, Leiden University
Pavilion building, Museum Volkenkunde, Steenstraat 1, Leiden
Also see the programme.
More information and registration
For more information, please contact Roxane van Beek at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 06-1411 7472.
Also see the website www.buddhismandsocialjustice.com.