Cover image for The new social face of Buddhism : a call to action
The new social face of Buddhism : a call to action
Jones, Ken, 1930- (Ken H.)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Wisdom Publications, [2003.]

Physical Description:
xvii, 276 pages ; 23 cm
Foundations : making a life -- Social understanding : tissues of the self -- Indian Buddhist social theory and engagement -- Institutionalized delusion -- Buddhism and modernity -- The inner work : the face of contemporary spirituality -- Beyond meditation -- Social awareness -- Buddhist morality -- Action : peacework and social justice -- A world in flames -- Socially engaged Buddhism -- Engaged Buddhism in Asia -- Engaged Buddhism worldwide -- The grounding of socially engaged Buddhism -- Root problems of Buddhist social activism -- Building a radical culture of awakening.
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BQ4570.S6 J65 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Jones presents an astute, well-informed, and balanced analysis of the philosophy, history, and future of socially relevant Buddhism. At a time when clear social action is needed more than ever, The New Social Face of Buddhism is vital reading for activists, scholars and everyone seeking to transform their spiritual practice into a force for social, political, and global change. A groundbreaking work, Jones's book is a wellspring of inspiration that should not be missed.

Author Notes

Ken Jones was a Zen and Ch'an practitioner and teacher. His career was mainly in higher education, with most of his spare time spent as a peace, ecology and social justice activist, as well as a period on the Samaritans' telephone helpline. He was a founder of the UK Network of Engaged Buddhists, eventually serving as its president, and a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Jones facilitated numerous workshops and retreats on different aspects of Buddhism, but focusing particularly on "Everyday Buddhism". He published widely, his best known book being The New Social Face of Buddhism . A widely published haiku poet, he has been awarded the Sasakawa prize for his contribution in that field. He final years were spent in his native Wales, with his Irish wife Noragh. He passed away in 2015.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this substantially revised updating of his The Social Face of Buddhism (1989), Jones argues that Buddhism has powerful, practical implications for profound social change. He calls this model "engaged Buddhism," which is characterized by "caring and service, social and environmental protest and analysis, nonviolence as a creative way of overcoming conflict, and ... similar initiatives toward a socially just and ecologically sustainable society." He begins by discussing some key Buddhist tenets vis-a-vis engaged Buddhism, including the first noble truth: dukkha, an "existential suffering and gnawing sense of lack." Next, he probes the confluence of Buddhism and various social theories, underlining his root belief that meaningful social change is possible only if there is first a widespread and deep spiritual change in individuals, manifesting in a "culture of awakening." Jones then explores specific issues important to engaged Buddhism, such as structural forms of violence, consumerism, the pitfalls of a growth economy and the transnational corporations that reinforce it, and the destruction of the world's ecology. Finally, he reviews various engaged Buddhism movements across the world. This is less a galvanizing call to action and more a meticulous, multi-disciplinary (Buddhist) philosophical foundation for compassionate social action, for Jones's chief strength-his thoroughness-is also his biggest drawback: the writing is dense, and his larger arguments tend to become bogged down in minutiae. For those interested in engaged Buddhism, however, Jones provides a clear, attentive, thorough explication of the social-action implications of Buddhist thought. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In the West, Buddhist practice has long been associated with personal spiritual journeys-often quite private and inward and at worst even selfish. A Zen practitioner for over 30 years and founder of the U.K. Network for Engaged Buddhists, Jones has written a marvelous corrective to the trend. This book is no less than a Buddhist dissection of the ills of contemporary society and a call to all Buddhists for the practice of "compassion in action." Jones's challenge to all of us lies in the clarity and purity of his principles of social justice. If heeded, Jones's book could be revolutionary for the practice and reputation of Buddhists today. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Kenneth Kraft
Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Part 1 Foundationsp. 1
Making a Lifep. 3
Mahayana: The Great Way of Liberationp. 11
The Karmic Dynamop. 23
Part 2 Social Understandingp. 29
Tissues of the Self: A Buddhist Social Psychologyp. 31
Indian Buddhist Social Theory and Engagementp. 43
Institutionalized Delusion: Toward a Buddhist Social Theoryp. 51
Buddhism and Modernityp. 67
Part 3 The Inner Workp. 85
The Face of Contemporary Spiritualityp. 87
Beyond Meditationp. 101
Social Awareness: Opening the Fourth Eyep. 113
Buddhist Moralityp. 127
Part 4 Actionp. 139
Peacework and Social Justicep. 141
A World in Flamesp. 159
Socially Engaged Buddhism: What Is It?p. 173
Engaged Buddhism in Asiap. 185
Engaged Buddhism in the Westp. 201
The Grounding of Socially Engaged Buddhismp. 211
Root Problems of Buddhist Social Activismp. 221
Building a Radical Culture of Awakeningp. 231
Referencesp. 243
Indexp. 259