Buddhism and Violence
Ernie Rea and his guests debate whether violence is permitted within Buddhism, which is usually portrayed in the West as a religion of peace and non-violence.
Beyond Belief debates the place of religion and faith in today's complex world. Ernie Rea is joined by a panel to discuss how religious beliefs and traditions affect our values and perspectives.
Buddhism is generally portrayed in the West as a religion of peace and non-violence. The first of Buddhism's 'Five Moral Precepts' states that it is wrong to take the lives of others. But recent clashes between native Buddhists and minority Muslims in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) have left over 200 people dead, and more than 150,000 people homeless. So what is Buddhism's teaching about the use of violence? Is it permitted or prohibited?
Joining Ernie Rea to discuss Buddhism and violence are Michael Jerryson, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University, Ohio, who co-edited the book 'Buddhist Warfare'; Rupert Gethin, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and Soe Win Than, a journalist who was born in Myanmar and who works for the BBC's Burmese Service.