The Journal of Global Buddhism is a diamond open access journal dedicated to the study of the globalization of Buddhism, both historical and contemporary, and its transnational and transcontinental interrelatedness. We publish research articles, special issues, discussions, critical notes, review essays, and book reviews.

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The Globethics library has vol. 1(2000) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Buddhism in the Anthropocene: Opening the Global to the Planetary

    Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko; Jovan Maud (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-01)
    Introduction to the Special Focus section: Buddhism in the Anthropocene.
  • The Spatiality of Buddhism in Shenzhen: Exploration Through Guattari’s Three Ecologies

    Shmushko, Kai (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    This article explores the spatiality of Buddhism in the metropolis Shenzhen through its revitalization process in the past decades alongside the rapid expansion of the city. The author explores Buddhist practice communities within an urban village (chengzhongcun 城中村) and the central Buddhist temple build in the same neighbourhood. The article aims to illuminate some of the particularities and tensions of urbanization, environment, and the revival of Buddhism in the PRC. Building on Felix Guatarri's thesis of the three ecologies, the author presents a descriptive account of the main active communities in the examined neighbourhood. Furthermore, the article argues that, in order to understand the workings of Buddhist configurations in contemporary urban China, we must look at the registers of the environment, social structure, and human subjectivity. The article suggests that these three ecologies are interconnected and make up the ecology of Shenzhen Buddhism.
  • Buddhism in the Anthropocene: Opening the Global to the Planetary

    Abrahms-Kavunenko, Saskia; Maud, Jovan (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    Introduction to the Special Focus section: Buddhism in the Anthropocene.
  • Affective Entanglements: Human-Nonhuman Relations in Buddhist Ecologies of Feeling

    Schröer, Frederik (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    This article reflects on key concepts in early South Asian Buddhism and their potential for creative dialogue with current concepts of research at the philosophical forefront of ecological thinking. It explores the role of feelings---that is, both bodily affects and culturally formed emotions---as crucial in negotiating the relations between humans and nonhumans and their environments. To this end, the concept of affective entanglement is proposed as a way of describing and analysing the condition of constitutive ecological linkage articulated through feelings and based in the fundamental interdependence of all phenomena in the world. Through careful analysis of a series of important early Buddhist Pali texts dealing with forested environments, this article explores how the early Buddhist teaching can challenge and enrich how we think of persons and bodies in relation to other beings and environments. Through a discussion of the powerful emotion of fear and the importance of vulnerability, the article develops thoughts on how Buddhist emotional practices as practices of care can inspire new approaches in today's times of escalating ecological crisis and acute vulnerability in coexisting and intersecting human and nonhuman pluriworlds.
  • "Perhaps I'm Not a Global Citizen but a Global Listener Now": The Ethics of Study Abroad in Buddhist Spaces

    Langenberg, Amy Paris (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    The study of global Buddhism through a study abroad encounter presents invaluable opportunities for teachers and students at liberal arts institutions to contemplate the conundrum of global citizenship, a standard aim of liberal education in North America. When studying abroad, students become viscerally aware of their own positionality, which is reflected back to them constantly as they move through the social and cultural landscapes of Buddhist Asia. This reflection leaves them eager to raise, to the level of critical thinking, what is quite literally an embodied experience of difference and privilege. The essay connects the field of Buddhist studies to a larger conversation in the field of global education, arguing that Buddhist studies travel courses must interrogate concepts of global citizenship, address the legacies of colonialism, and teach the principles of ethical travel, in addition to introducing students to the living traditions of global Buddhism.
  • Theravada Buddhism in the Anthropocene: The Role of the Radical Virtuosi

    Sirisena, Prabhath (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    This autoethnographic study of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka identifies an ecological ethic that can address the challenges posed by the Anthropocene, based on the praxis of a unique community: the radical forest-dwelling (araññavāsī) virtuosi, a distinct group within the Sri Lankan monastic Sangha. It discusses how Buddhist teachings, when put into practice, reveal an effective eco-ethic that might not be immediately apparent when one merely analyses the texts. Such a praxis is marked by an uncompromising love for fellow beings in shared habitats, and is evidently effective enough to trust with the protection of delicate ecosystems in a biodiversity hotspot. Emerging from arguably the most rigorous form of Buddhist monastic practice, this eco-ethic might not be easily attainable or sustainable for lay people. Yet, it reveals a range of possibilities wherein an alternative worldview can be adopted, and in doing so, makes a distinctive contribution to Buddhist environmentalism.
  • Masks and Mantras: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Spiritual Reterritorialization Among Tibetan Buddhist Communities in Taiwan

    Yonnetti, Eben (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    This article examines how Tibetan Buddhist teachers’ and communities’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have facilitated the contemporary global transmission of this tradition. Based upon fifteen months of ethnographic research in Taiwan, I examine how one community, the Bhumang Nyiöling Buddhist Society, was introduced to and adopted practices to the deity Parṇaśavarī, a protectress against pandemic illnesses, in response to COVID-19. Drawing upon Deleuze and Guattari, I introduce the concepts of spiritual deterritorialization and reterritorialization to describe the processes whereby divinities in the Buddhist cosmos are unbound from specific geographies and expand their intercessory powers across new contexts. I argue that the introduction of Parṇaśavarī practices to the Bhumang Nyiöling community during the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a vibrant example of how processes of spiritual deterritorialization and reterritorialization can play a powerful role in the broader transmission of Tibetan Buddhism globally, particularly when catalyzed by critical moments of crisis.
  • Himalayan Buddhism as Human Geological Agency: Rethinking the Novelty of "the Anthropocene"

    Millington, Alice (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    This article uses a Himalayan Buddhist lens to critically interrogate a fundamental premise of "the Anthropocene"---that the epoch commemorates a "newfound" capacity of humans to mobilise Earth forces. Rather, Himalayan Buddhism has long held that humans wield geological agency, mobilised through relationships with territorial landscape deities, which inflict severe weather in retaliation for human moral infractions. Offering an alternative model of anthropogenic climate change, Buddhist and Indigenous lifeworlds challenge Western convictions that "the Anthropocene" is a novel planetary epoch. Since the term has gained a vibrant discursive life beyond geology, its cultural assumptions---rather than biophysical thresholds---are primarily evaluated, revealing an extension of Eurocentric colonial logic into this new planetary chapter. Alternatively, I suggest the Himalayan Buddhist term "kawa nyampa" (degenerate era) better encapsulates our transition towards environmental breakdown. There was no need to "invent" the Anthropocene as a new epoch of thought---it had long already existed.
  • The Contents Are the Vessel: Snod bcud Beyond Nature

    King, Matthew (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    Reflecting on the implications of Dipesh Chakrabarty's "The Climate of History" for a critical Buddhist Studies of/for the Anthropocene, this article introduces a seven-hundred-years-old reflection among Inner Asian Buddhist scholastics about the perspectival tangle of worlds and beings. Rooted in canonical Indian Abhidharma literature and then the Tibetan Pakpa Chökyi Lodrö's didactic compositions meant for the princelings of the 13th century Mongolian Empire, Tibetan and Mongolian authors have long considered the ontological and epistemic nature of environments, beings, and perceiving minds in relation. Tracing an intellectual history leading into the Mongolian revolutionary period and Tibetan refugee diaspora in the twentieth century, this article shows that Inner Asian Buddhist have never been burdened by the tyranny of Nature and Culture, whose conceptual blurring in the Anthropocene Chakrabarty cites as imperiling the Humanities. Let the Humanities, as such, die. Finding resonances with earlier perspectival constructions of nature in the work of Alexander von Humboldt, the 19th century father of ecological studies, as well as critiques of nature/nurture in body and disability studies, this article argues for using Inner Asian perspectives as new methodological resources in the ruins of liberal humanism and the normative human sciences.
  • Shown by the Marron’s Claw: Ecological Receptivity as Mindful Praxis

    Abrahms-Kavunenko, Saskia (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-18)
    On the wooded hillside of the Origins Centre, a small retreat centre in Western Australia with a strong ethos of active care, the appearance of native animals, especially those that are scarce or sporadic, is interpreted as indicative of spiritual and ecological health. Conversing with human-animal relationships within other Buddhist traditions, this article explores the resonances between the presence of animals and ideas of successful labour, both physical and contemplative, amongst Australian Buddhists in a time of ecological crises. In conversation with notions of ecological health and renewal, native animals are often seen as companions, tutelary beings, and as being indicative of successful practice. At a centre where regenerative work to re-establish disrupted ecologies is considered collaboration, receptivity to the movements, moods, and activities of animals, and of ecosystems more broadly, is cultivated to support the flourishing of life, and is coupled with a culture of dedicated work.
  • Shown by the Marron’s Claw: Ecological Receptivity as Mindful Praxis

    Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2024-06-01)
    On the wooded hillside of the Origins Centre, a small retreat centre in Western Australia with a strong ethos of active care, the appearance of native animals, especially those that are scarce or sporadic, is interpreted as indicative of spiritual and ecological health. Conversing with human-animal relationships within other Buddhist traditions, this article explores the resonances between the presence of animals and ideas of successful labour, both physical and contemplative, amongst Australian Buddhists in a time of ecological crises. In conversation with notions of ecological health and renewal, native animals are often seen as companions, tutelary beings, and as being indicative of successful practice. At a centre where regenerative work to re-establish disrupted ecologies is considered collaboration, receptivity to the movements, moods, and activities of animals, and of ecosystems more broadly, is cultivated to support the flourishing of life, and is coupled with a culture of dedicated work.
  • Negotiating Boundaries Between "Religious" and "Secular": A Struggle for the Sense of Collectivity Among Ambedkarite Buddhists in Maharashtra

    Menšíková, Tereza (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2023-12-20)
    Since the first mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism in 1956, followers of B. R. Ambedkar's vision have propagated Buddhism throughout India, creating various activist networks across, but not limited to, Maharashtra. Despite their aspirations for socio-political change and emancipation for marginalized communities experiencing caste discrimination, Ambedkarite Buddhists have faced challenges in mobilization and organization since the demise of Ambedkar. This article addresses the struggle of building a sense of collectivity within the Ambedkarite Buddhist population, offering insights from the perspective of young Ambedkarite Buddhists in Mumbai. The ethnographic study primarily focuses on interpreting the Ambedkarite Buddhist tradition and its position within the broader Buddhist framework and delves into the divergence in efforts to emplace Buddhism on the "religious-secular" spectrum among practitioners. The article aims to provide an interpretation of the challenges faced by the Ambedkarite Buddhists in pursuing a unified front for effecting social change in contemporary India.
  • Buddhist Pro-Woman Attitudes Towards Full Ordination: Tibetan and Himalayan Monastics’ Views

    Darcie Price-Wallace (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2023-05-01)
    Since the 1980s, Tibetan religious leaders and Vinaya scholars have been examining the possibility of restoring the Buddhist ordination vow lineage for women (Tib. dge slong ma, gelongma) in India. These leaders and scholars focus primarily on canonical prescriptions and emphasize that this issue precludes questions of gender equality (pho mo ‘dra mnyam). However, little attention has been paid to the perspectives of Himalayan and Tibetan monastics outside of leadership positions. In order to understand how these Buddhist nuns and monks reconcile Vinaya prescriptions and gender equality, I interviewed and surveyed monastics residing in Bodh Gaya, India, between January 2018-March 2019. Their responses indicate a diversity of views about the relationship between restoring gelongma vows, Vinaya, and gender equality. And yet taken as a whole, they hold a view that is pro-woman but also accounts for gender asymmetries in ways that are sometimes at odds with a gender-justice and rights-based feminism. Their monastic version of feminism downplays social differences and instead emphasizes similarities between men and women’s practices as sites for ethical cultivation within the confines of celibate Buddhist monasticism.
  • Reimagining a Buddhist Cosmopolis: Conveying Marble Buddhas from Burma to China, 1890s-1930s

    Beiyin Deng (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2023-05-01)
    Discussions about Buddhist connections between China and Southeast Asia in the late Qing and Republican periods often conform to a meta-narrative of Buddhist modernism that emphasizes the trajectories of eminent monks and reformative initiatives in and beyond China. Drawing on research on archives in China and Myanmar (Burma) and field visits to temples and museums in China, this article investigates the efforts to convey marble Buddhas from Burma to China by a broad spectrum of Chinese Buddhists from the 1890s to 1930s as a strain of Buddhist mobility that has receive scant attention in the studies of transregional Buddhist interconnectivities. It examines how the fascination with marble, which is vernacularly categorized as jade/white jade in Chinese, motivated such endeavors and how these icons shaped the perception of a developing Buddhist cosmopolis among Chinese Buddhists by helping them locate Burma in the Buddhist world in a spiritually and materially meaningful way.
  • Buddhism and Modernity: 4th International Vajrayāna Conference

    Dendup Chopel; Jigme Phuntsho (Society for the Study of Global Buddhism, 2023-05-01)
    This article provides an analytical report on the fourth International Vajrayāna Conference themed 'Buddhism and Modernity', which was organised by the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies in collaboration with Bhutan’s Central Monastic Body.

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