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New Book on Buddhism and Statecraft

Dr. Stephanie Balkwill (PhD, McMaster 2015), Assistant Professor, UCLA and Dr. James A. Benn co-edited a new book on Buddhism and Statecraft in East Asia. It is Open Access (free to download and read) from Brill.

Apr 19, 2022

Buddhist Statecraft in East Asia explores the long relationship between Buddhism and the state in premodern times and seeks to counter the modern, secularist notion that Buddhism, as a religion, is inherently apolitical. By revealing the methods by which members of Buddhist communities across premodern East Asia related to imperial rule, this volume offers case studies of how Buddhists, their texts, material culture, ideas, and institutions legitimated rulers and defended regimes across the region.
The volume also reveals a history of Buddhist writing, protest, and rebellion against the state.
In addition to Dr. Balkwill and Dr. Benn, other contributors are: Megan Bryson, Gregory N. Evon, Geoffrey C. Goble, Richard D. McBride II, and Jacqueline I. Stone.

The volume began as a conference on Buddhist Statecraft hosted at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2017 when Dr. Balkwill held a postdoctoral fellowship there. The conference was supported by a major grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

Dr. Stephanie Balkwill is Associate Director of the Center for Buddhist Studies at UCLA