This book analyzes what Buddhism has to offer in envisioning the possibilities of "living well" here and now for individuals, society as a whole, all sentient beings and the planet itself.
From the perspectives of a variety of Buddhist thinkers, the book evaluates what a good life is like, what is desirable for human society, and ways in which we should live in and with the natural world. By examining this-worldly Buddhist philosophy and movements in India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Tibetan diaspora, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the United States, the book assesses what Buddhists offer for the building of a Good society. It explores the proposals and programs made by progressive and widely influential lay and monastic thinkers and activists, as well as the works of movement leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, for the social, economic, political and environmental systems in their various countries.
Demonstrating that Buddhism is not solely a path for the realization of nirvana, but also a way of living well here and now, this book will be of interest to researchers working on contemporary and modern Buddhism, Buddhism and society, Asian religion and Engaged Buddhism.
Table of Contents
Sallie B. King
Part I The Ancient Buddhist World
1. A Map of the Good Life: The Thirty-Eight Blessings of the Maṅgala Sutta
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
2. Compassion Blesses the Compassionate: The Basis of Human Flourishing in Buddhist Thought and Practice
Part II The Contemporary Buddhist World
3. Ambedkar’s Buddhist Vision: A Social Democratic Republic
4. The Good Life as Envisioned by A.T. Ariyaratne and the Sarvodaya Movement
George D. Bond
5. The Development of Wellbeing: Gross National Happiness and Bhutan’s Vision for the Ideal Society
6. The Good Life: A Tibetan Understanding
Jay L. Garfield
7. Venerable Pomnyun’s Jungto Society: A Buddhist Activist Movement in South Korea
8. Thich Nhat Hanh and the Nonviolent Society
Sallie B. King
9. Tzu Chi: Buddhist Compassion Relief and the Bodhisattva Path to a Good Society
10. Japan’s Soka Gakkai: Transforming the Human Spirit to Save Humanity from Itself
Daniel A. Métraux
11. Gary Snyder’s Vision
12. Mutual Morality: Joanna Macy’s Vision of the Great Turning
Sallie B. King is Professor Emerita of Philosophy and Religion at James Madison University, USA and Affiliated Faculty at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University, USA.