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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1 Buddhism and War
2 Making Merit through Warfare According to the 256ryaBodhisattvagocaraup257yavisayavikurvananirde347a Sutra
The Fifth Dalai Lama and the Discourse of Religious Violence
Punitive Measures of Buddhist Khans in Mongolia
5 A Buddhological Critique of SoldierZen in Wartime Japan
6 Buddhists in China during the Korean War 19511953
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abbot Ānandavaṃsa army Aśoka Assisting Korea Avalokiteśvara battlefield Beijing bodhisattva Buddha Buddhist clergy Buddhist monks Buddhist traditions campaign century chapter China Chinese Buddhists Communist compassion D. T. Suzuki death dGe lugs Dharma dharmaśāstras dhism dhist Dhyāna discourse doctrine donate emperor enemy ethics Fifth Dalai Lama Foxue Modern Buddhist Gushri Khan Ibid ideology imperial Japan Japanese justify Juzan karmic Khan’s killing king Lama’s living Mahāyāna military monks Modern Buddhist Studies monastery monastic Mongol Mongolian monks and nuns moral murder Muslims Nāgārjuna nation negative karma one’s Pāli Panāgoḍa patriotic Pattani province People’s Personal communication Phra Eks political practice precepts protect punishment religion religious Renondeau ritual rulers Śākyamuni sangha scholars sect sermons Sinhalese skandha social sōhei soldiers southern Thailand southernmost provinces Sri Lanka state’s Sugimoto suicide Sūtra Tang dynasty teachings temple Thai Buddhist Theravāda Tibet Tibetan trans translation Vinaya warfare Xiandai Foxue Modern Zen at War