In Defense of Dharma: Just-war Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka

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Psychology Press, 2002 - History - 209 pages
This is the first book to examine war and violence in Sri Lanka through the lens of cross-cultural studies on just-war tradition and theory. In a study that is textual, historical and anthropological, it is argued that the ongoing Sinhala-Tamil conflict is in actual practice often justified by a resort to religious stories that allow for war when Buddhism is in peril. Though Buddhism is commonly assumed to be a religion that never allows for war, this study suggests otherwise, thereby bringing Buddhism into the ethical dialogue on religion and war. Without a realistic consideration of just-war thinking in contemporary Sri Lanka, it will remain impossible to understand the power of religion there to create both peace and war.

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Narrative ethics and war
Justwar thinking in texts and contexts
Dharma yuddhaya and dharma warriors in Sri Lanka
Buddhism pacifism war and ethical orientations
Sri Lankan Buddhism and justwar thinking revisited

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About the author (2002)

Tessa J. Bartholomeusz was Professor of Religion at the Florida State University, Tallahasee. Her work concentrated on gender, religious identity and most recently, on Buddhism in America.

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