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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Buddhism was transmitted to China around the beginning of the Common Era and from there spread to the other societies in East Asia. The Mahāyāna tradition eventually became embedded in the ordinary life of those societies, closely intertwined with Confucian and Daoist ethics. Popular Buddhist ethics were basically utilitarian, a means to produce desirable consequences. In the twentieth century, reformers like Taixu (1890–1947) tried to purify this popular Buddhism and make it relevant to the challenges of modernity. The result was a ‘Buddhism in the Human Realm’ expressed as a virtue ethic that teaches its followers to develop the capacities to follow a bodhisattva path of creating a Pure Land on earth. This chapter explores the implications of this for the family, public life, politics and war, economic inequality, sexuality, and environmental ethics.

Keywords: Buddhism in the Human Realm, Taixu, family, public life, politics, war, inequality, sexuality, environmental ethics

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