Summary and Info
Buddhist Warfare is a collection of essays on Buddhist traditions around the world. The first chapter is actually translation of an essay by Paul Demieville (1957), who was one of the most importand Buddhist scholars of his time. One interesting point Michael Jerryson writes in the introduction is that Demieville's important essay in 1957 has not been substantially developed since, and thus we can assume this is the purpose of the book.
In contrast to the previous reviewer, I do not feel this is "judeo-christian" propaganda. Quite opposite of this, the various scholars in the book write critically about violence spawned by Buddhist monks, whether they are Sri Lankan, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tibetan, or Indian.
Jerryson writes in the Introduction that people in the United States and Europe do violence to Buddhists by painting them as completely pacifistic and non-violent. The motis operandi of the volume is to provide data to the contrary, showing that Buddhists are people, and like any other tradition, has episodes of violence.
I am not sure if this is deliberate or not, but the essays follow in chronological order of their content (with the exception of Demieville's translated chapter), with essays on Indian, Tibetan, Mongolian, Japanese, Chinese/Korean, Sri Lankan, and Thai Buddhist episodes of violence. Bernard Faure writes the last chapter, which is more a response than a conclusion. He reviews the points made by the various contributors, and then brings forth some innovative and alternative ways of considering the relationship between Buddhism and violence.
There are not many books that discuss Buddhist monastic violence-- which is really the focus of the essays, not lay Buddhists, which I suppose would make for a different book. Buddhist Warfare is quite balanced and offers some very important points about Buddhism. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wishes to know the historical significance of Buddhism (not just the theories and doctrine, although the book addresses these as well).
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