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Engaged Buddhism Movement in Asia/Southeast Asia
Religion and Theology
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Introduction Engaged Buddhism is a concept, which has its roots in Vietnam, and which was highly inspired by the works of a Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. In 1963, Thich formed the Tiep Hien, which when translated means, “the order of interbeing,” as a reactionary measure against the war that was going on between South and North Vietnam (Ogi, 9).
Although the concept of engaged Buddhism became evident in early 1960’s, it is a product of ancient Buddhist tradition in diverse periods of the religion’s existence. This paper is a critical examination of social engaged Buddhism movement in Asia, with focus on Shinran and Takagi Kenmyo, two of the earliest influential Buddhists, from whom Thich Nhat Hanh founded the concept of engaged Buddhism movement. Engaged Buddhism In Thich’s perspective, social and economic interdependence are some of the most fundamental elements of Buddhism. Therefore, caring for one another and taking an active role in enhancing and shaping the future of one’s country is the duty of every Buddhist in the society (Shigaraki, 63). According to Kraft, Thich was a pacifist and he strongly opposed any kind of war and conflict. During this time, Vietnam was amidst a bloody conflict and Thich stance attracted the wrath of Vietnamese authorities. Thich’s pacifist conviction took him to the US to participate in political activism alongside other prominent persons such as Martin Luther and Thomas Merton, among others, who were against the war (Ogi 37). The US had a significant role in the war as it supported South Vietnam and therefore, there was need to convince the leadership in the country to mediate peace in Vietnam. ...
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