Buddhism and Contemporary Society.

Publish Place: 
The University of Hong Kong
Centre of Buddhist Studies
Publish Year: 
E-book Tag: 

This book is designed to accompany a course exploring the Buddhist response to a range of contemporary social issues. To facilitate its use as a course text each chapter is preceded by an overview of the contents and concludes with a summary of the key points. At the end of each chapter there are suggested questions for class discussion or use as essay titles at the tutor’s discretion as well as a ‘Further Reading’ section. At the end of the book, the reader will find a complete bibliography and an index of proper names, terms, and concepts.

The volume begins with an introduction to Buddhist social ethics as traditionally taught, and then looks in detail at eleven individual topics of contemporary interest. The scope is broad and topics discussed include engaged Buddhism, politics, violence, economics, human rights, animals, ecology, sex and gender, abortion, euthanasia, and science and transhumanism.

The book has various aims: to equip the student to define key doctrinal concepts relevant to Buddhist social ethics; to identify the major concerns and arguments in a range of debates within Buddhist communities; to critically analyse contemporary issues from a Buddhist perspective; to articulate what is distinctive in the Buddhist position as distinct from alternative perspectives; to evaluate arguments in a balanced and scholarly manner, and equip the student to participate in discussions on a broad range of contemporary social issues drawing on evidence from both primary and secondary sources.



Keown, Damien. Buddhism and Contemporary Society. The University of Hong Kong: Centre of Buddhist Studies. 2022