December 24th, 2019

Vexen Crabtree 2015

Buddhism, Extremism and Violence

Buddhism, of all the major world religions, has the greatest record for peace and good morality. Compared with popular world religions, Buddhism is calm both in theory and in practice. Nonetheless, various forms of Buddhism at various times have been instruments of war, violence and intolerance and "was in fact the inspiration behind many of the martial arts of China and Japan" during their violent expansionist periods. Buddhist sects have argued and fought over doctrine, over populations and methods, over pride and national independence. These aren't just historical issues. Countries such as Burma and Laos have a pro-Buddhist bias in their legal systems, leading to prejudice, social intolerance and inequality. In Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand the majority of the populace are Theravada Buddhist, but all are notable as places where Buddhist-inspired violence has prevailed over Buddhist-inspired peace.

Page in full: Buddhist Extremism.

I did actually put this page up last year, but I've never announced it on LiveJournal, so here it is.