New Social Face of Buddhism: A Call to Action

Overview

Jones presents an astute, well-informed, and balanced analysis of the philosophy, history, and future of socially relevant Buddhism. At a time when clear social action is needed more than ever, The New Social Face of Buddhism is vital reading for activists, scholars and everyone seeking to transform their spiritual practice into a force for social, political, and global change. A groundbreaking work, Jones's book is a wellspring of inspiration that should not be missed.

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Overview

Jones presents an astute, well-informed, and balanced analysis of the philosophy, history, and future of socially relevant Buddhism. At a time when clear social action is needed more than ever, The New Social Face of Buddhism is vital reading for activists, scholars and everyone seeking to transform their spiritual practice into a force for social, political, and global change. A groundbreaking work, Jones's book is a wellspring of inspiration that should not be missed.

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Editorial Reviews

Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism
"Jones's original Social Face of Buddhism, published in 1989, came just in time to encourage many of us who were searching for the point were Buddhism and social action meet. The book was a beacon and we turned to it eagerly. Jones has now thoroughly re-written this work, as The New Social Face of Buddhism. We are lucky to have this new tool in our hands. The writing here is more fluid, and thus this volume is easier reading for an audience of Buddhists and fellow- travelers. We must do the socially engaged work that Jones writes about."
Branches of Light
"Jones makes a compelling and humane case that the well-being of the individual and the well-being of society simply can not be separated. All the topics for putting your compassion into action are here."
Inquiring Mind
"An excellent, necessary book. It reads as a complement to David Loy's The Great Awakening, where a shared Buddhist social theory is converted into a call to action. Jones skillfully links meditation and spiritual awakening—opening the third eye—to opening the 'fourth eye' of social awareness."
Today's Books
"A must-read."
Sam Hamill
"Ken Jones has given us an inspiring, challenging handbook for Buddhist social activism. In such practice lies hope for the world."
Joan Halifax
"This inspiring book points the way to a revolution in contemporary spirituality."
James Ishmael Ford
"One of the first truly important books to rise out of the liberal Buddhist movement."
Publishers Weekly
In this substantially revised updating of his The Social Face of Buddhism (1989), Jones argues that Buddhism has powerful, practical implications for profound social change. He calls this model "engaged Buddhism," which is characterized by "caring and service, social and environmental protest and analysis, nonviolence as a creative way of overcoming conflict, and ... similar initiatives toward a socially just and ecologically sustainable society." He begins by discussing some key Buddhist tenets vis-a-vis engaged Buddhism, including the first noble truth: dukkha, an "existential suffering and gnawing sense of lack." Next, he probes the confluence of Buddhism and various social theories, underlining his root belief that meaningful social change is possible only if there is first a widespread and deep spiritual change in individuals, manifesting in a "culture of awakening." Jones then explores specific issues important to engaged Buddhism, such as structural forms of violence, consumerism, the pitfalls of a growth economy and the transnational corporations that reinforce it, and the destruction of the world's ecology. Finally, he reviews various engaged Buddhism movements across the world. This is less a galvanizing call to action and more a meticulous, multi-disciplinary (Buddhist) philosophical foundation for compassionate social action, for Jones's chief strength-his thoroughness-is also his biggest drawback: the writing is dense, and his larger arguments tend to become bogged down in minutiae. For those interested in engaged Buddhism, however, Jones provides a clear, attentive, thorough explication of the social-action implications of Buddhist thought. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the West, Buddhist practice has long been associated with personal spiritual journeys-often quite private and inward and at worst even selfish. A Zen practitioner for over 30 years and founder of the U.K. Network for Engaged Buddhists, Jones has written a marvelous corrective to the trend. This book is no less than a Buddhist dissection of the ills of contemporary society and a call to all Buddhists for the practice of "compassion in action." Jones's challenge to all of us lies in the clarity and purity of his principles of social justice. If heeded, Jones's book could be revolutionary for the practice and reputation of Buddhists today. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861713653
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 6/15/2003
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Jones is a Zen and Ch'an practitioner and teacher of thirty years' standing. His career has been mainly in higher education, with most of his spare time spent as a peace, ecology and social justice activist, as well as a period on the Samaritans' telephone helpline. He is a founder of the UK Network of Engaged Buddhists, and now its president, and a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Jones has facilitated numerous workshops and retreats on different aspects of Buddhism, but focusing particularly on "Everyday Buddhism". He has published widely, his best known book being The New Social Face of Buddhism (Wisdom Publications, 2003). A widely published haiku poet, he has been awarded the Sasakawa prize for his contribution in that field. He now homesteads in his native Wales, with his Irish wife Noragh.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Preface
Pt. 1 Foundations 1
Making a Life 3
Mahayana: The Great Way of Liberation 11
The Karmic Dynamo 23
Pt. 2 Social Understanding 29
Tissues of the Self: A Buddhist Social Psychology 31
Indian Buddhist Social Theory and Engagement 43
Institutionalized Delusion: Toward a Buddhist Social Theory 51
Buddhism and Modernity 67
Pt. 3 The Inner Work 85
The Face of Contemporary Spirituality 87
Beyond Meditation 101
Social Awareness: Opening the Fourth Eye 113
Buddhist Morality 127
Pt. 4 Action 139
Peacework and Social Justice 141
A World in Flames 159
Socially Engaged Buddhism: What Is It? 173
Engaged Buddhism in Asia 185
Engaged Buddhism in the West 201
The Grounding of Socially Engaged Buddhism 211
Root Problems of Buddhist Social Activism 221
Building a Radical Culture of Awakening 231
References 243
Index 259
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