2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

War in Defense of Buddhadharma: Just War Theory in Buddhist Nationalism in Sri Lanka

Randhi S. Perera
Dr. Lloyd Pflueger, Faculty Mentor

There is an idealized notion that Buddhism as a religion fully committed to humanitarian doctrines such as peace, non - violence and, pacifism. Though it is true that the teachings in the P?li Canon (the Therav?da Buddhist scripture) is fully committed to such doctrines, it is questionable whether the traditional Buddhist countries are fully committed to such doctrines in practice. The long-lasting ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka between its Sinhala - Buddhist majority and their non - Buddhist compatriots and the recent upsurges of religious violence in Myanmar (Burma) have sparked concerns regarding the justification of war and violence in Buddhism. Even though there is no doctrinal foundation, politically inspired Buddhist sa?gha and the laity justify the war and violence in defense of Dharma. From a Buddhist perspective, is it possible to kill a sentient being for any reason, without facing the negative consequences of karma


Keywords: Buddhism, Just - War Theory, Non - violence, Pacifism, Sri Lankan Ethnic Conflict, Karma, Ethics of War, Nationalism

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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