More Peaceful Society: the Application of the Buddhist Theology of Peace in the Christian West

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Hawkins, Danielle
thesis / dissertation description
This thesis uses a theological methodology based on fieldwork in Thailand and print research to examine the application of Theravada Buddhist theology of peace in the Christian West. The topics that were studied include Theravada Buddhist theology of peace, Sulak Sivaraksa's re-interpretation ofthis theology, his criticism of the west and proposed solutions, and the relation to Christianity. The research interprets Theravada Buddhist theology of peace in a way that is meaningful in a Western, Christian society, and particularly America. Information from scriptures, contemporary views, and case studies is used to focus on values of peace such as love (loving-kindness), compassion, forgiveness, non-materialism, non-judgment, and generosity. The end result is a plan for a more peaceful society based on reform in churches and public primary schools. This plan is particularly relevant for America, but it can also be used by other societies. The rationality behind this examination is the hope that it will bring people of different religions to a common ground upon which they can work for peace. If they can overcome their differences, they can stop religious wars and other forms of violence and instead benefit from each other's wisdom.