Matthew J. Walton
This article looks thematically at several important aspects of Buddhist politics in Myanmar, from the precolonial period to the present. It considers a number of arguments regarding the use of Buddhism in both supporting and opposing political authority, especially as they are rooted in a dualistic conception of human nature. It presents several examples of Burmese Buddhist political thought that creatively combine traditional Buddhist ideas with other political ideologies and practices, revealing a once-vibrant tradition that will hopefully be revitalized with the country’s current political transition. The role of monks in politics is controversial in Myanmar, and the article looks at some of the unique aspects of monastic activism, using examples from the 2007 “Saffron Revolution” and the current anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalist movements. Finally, it offers several different strands of democratic thought, including a provocative Burmese Buddhist notion of “moral democracy.”
Barry J. Leff
This chapter discusses the Jewish approach to business ethics. It first identifies several fundamental principles of Jewish business ethics, and then applies them to several common issues in business ethics: fraud, anti-competitive behaviour, theft (including theft of intellectual property), deception, kick-backs, and contract negotiation and interpretation. Next, the chapter discusses a number of concrete examples where Jewish sources have much to tell us about how to conduct business morally. It is shown that the Jewish approach to business ethics does not impose one-sided support for any particular group (employers vs. employees, individuals vs. society), but rather is an attempt to find a nuanced balance between competing interests so that the final conclusion represents a solution recognized as just.