Defense & Security

Buddhism and Conflict Transformation: Philosophical and Conceptual Expansion Of The Nature Of Human

0 45

Since the1990’s peace research has witnessed the rise of conflict transformation as one of its key ideas. This paper explores how Buddhism can contribute to conflict transformation by examining how Buddhist ideas of the human mind can complement contributions from Western peace/conflict analysis.


 BY DR JUICHIRO TANABE | AUGUST 05, 2013

bagan-monks-c-awfulsara-565

It might be odd to examine a complementary relationship between conflict transformation and Buddhist ideas of human mind. However, there is a small but growing body of academic literature on non-Western contributions to the conceptualization of peace and conflict.[1] Further, as Ramsbotham et al argue, in contemporary peace research, various values and wisdom from around the globe should be appreciated and, if necessary, a complementary relationship between them needs to be explored to promote shared understanding of the virtue to address unjust social/global structures and achieve harmonious human relationships.[2]

 Therefore, the main goal of this paper is neither to show superiority of Buddhist ideas of human mind for peace and conflict analysis nor to replace basic ideas of conflict transformation with Buddhist ones. Rather, by proposing new ideas of human mind, it seeks to expand the purview of conflict transformation itself, which would enable us to build new theoretical perspective and even practical methods in the long run.

To this end, three sections form this paper. The first part critically examines the basic features of conflict transformation and uncovers problems facing contemporary conflict transformation enterprise. The paper especially critiques and problematizes the underdevelopment of qualitative arguments of the potential of the individual mind for conflict transformation. The second section expounds the Buddhist analysis of human mind and delves into its understanding of the dynamics of peace/conflict. Finally, the third section explores how an expanded view of human mind can contribute to qualitatively enriching the discourse on peace for future conflict transformation enterprise.

Methodology

The central aim of Buddhism founded by Gautama, the Buddha, who “was led to philosophizing by an intense longing for the eradication of suffering”[3] is to examine and address the problem of suffering. Especially, it analyses and overcomes psychologically-oriented suffering by means of the eradication of its cause based on the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths[4].

 Furthermore, there are three schools of Buddhism – Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana – and each of them further has sub-schools that have respectively developed distinct teachings and cultures along with the shared objective, that is, the eradication of suffering. As it is beyond the scope of this paper to analyse all of those schools in detail and to take up all their teachings to examine their contributions to conflict transformation, the paper employs the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism for the discussion. However, though it embraces Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, this paper recognizes and appreciates other schools’ rich teachings and cultures.


*Published in Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security (JCTS) Vol. 3 | No. 1
© Copyright 2013 by CESRAN

About the author / 

CESRAN Int.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CESRAN Blog

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…

  • THE 18TH ISSUE OF THE REST: JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT IS OUT NOW.

    The 18th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles The Foreign Policy Decision Making Approaches and Their Applications Case Study: Bush, Obama and Trump’s Decision Making towards Afghanistan and the Region By Sharifullah Dorani Evaluating the Explanatory Power of Social Identity Theory,…

Newsletter