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date: 31 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the Buddhist valences toward conflict and peace building. The first section reviews Buddhist roles in conflicts. Buddhists have been involved in conflict as far back as written accounts of Buddhist activity. Prior to the 1800s, conflicts were steeped in millenarian and revolutionary rhetoric, but this tendency has changed over the last century. The next section focuses on the postcolonial period. As nation-states formed and transnational influences increased, Buddhist-inspired conflicts became more influenced by issues such as nationalism and identity conflicts. The last section examines notable contributions by Buddhists toward peace building in the contemporary period. Many leaders of these peace-building efforts model their work on scriptural examples of the Buddha’s conflict-resolution strategies, and some drew inspiration from Mohandas Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagraha (true-force) and advocacy of nonviolence.

Keywords: Buddhism, conflict, conflict resolution, peace building, nonviolence

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