Cover image for Buddhism, ethics and society : the conflicts and dilemmas of our times
Buddhism, ethics and society : the conflicts and dilemmas of our times
De Silva, Padmasiri, 1933-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Clayton, Vic. : Monash Asia Institute, Monash University, [2002]

Physical Description:
236 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BJ1289 .D37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



With an emphasis on cross-cultural understanding, philosopher Padmasiri de Silva shares the Buddhist approach to contemporary ethical issues, such as environmental degradation, racism, workplace relations, violence and suicide. This volume is useful as a guide for students, and as a modern companion to the discourses of the Buddha.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

De Silva (Monash Univ.) brings a Buddhist perspective to cross-cultural ethics. Intended to counsel the layperson and to serve a scholarly purpose, this book is divided into sections that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the endeavor. The first section discusses the secular and spiritual worlds, social order, progress, and human nature. Of particular note is the work on Marxism. Moral dilemmas like suicide, a tragic sense of life, and violence are addressed in the next section. The third section comprises human rights, environmental issues, and ethics; the final considerations are on Buddhism and work. In this book, a philosopher presents his opinions and provides guidance. Counseling compassion, sensitivity, and compromise, he serves as a useful guide to the Buddhist perspective on ethics. The scholar will be less impressed with the personal nature of the reflections. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. L. L. Lam-Easton California State University, Northridge

Table of Contents

Buddhism and society
Bridging two worlds: The secular and the spiritualp. 1
Religion and social progressp. 11
Buddhism and the social orderp. 21
Human nature in Marxism and Buddhismp. 31
Buddhism and moral dilemmas
The tragic sense of lifep. 45
Moral indignation and the logic of violencep. 63
Suicide and emotional ambivalencep. 81
Buddhism, human rights and environmental ethics
Identity profiles, communal violence and ethicsp. 97
The concept of equality in the Theravada Buddhist traditionp. 115
Human rights and religious anthropologies in a changing worldp. 137
Environmental ethics in Buddhismp. 149
The rationale for cross-cultural environmental ethicsp. 161
Buddhism and the work ethic
Ethics, work and the emotionally intelligent executivep. 175
Exploring new dimensions for a Buddhist work ethic: Mindfulness practice and emotional maturityp. 201
Epilogue: Landscapes of peace and warp. 213
Selected readings for Buddhist ethics and discourses of the Buddhap. 217
Bibliographyp. 219
Acknowledgementsp. 236