Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews Buddhist approaches to war and violence. Because ethics is the basis by which people make choices, the chapter’s focus is not purely on scriptures, but rather on the wider field of lived choices and the doctrine that relates to such choices. Buddhists have decided to go to war and have committed various acts of violence. The chapter begins with a brief chronological overview of Buddhist-inspired conflicts, wars, and the ethical debates and decisions surrounding these events. It then addresses the ambiguous subject matter of violence. Applying the Buddhist interdiction of ahimsa (non-harm/non-injury), it reviews doctrinal and historical cases in which Buddhist doctrine or Buddhists have justified harm/injury by means of murder, torture, capital punishment, and discrimination. The chapter ends with an examination of the ways in which Buddhists respond to war and violence.

Keywords: Buddhism, war, violence, torture, capital punishment

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.