Engaged Buddhism describes a global form of socially and politically active Buddhism that emerged in the 1960s, and has transformed both the Buddhist religion and the world ever since. The Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh coined the term; ever since, he and other Asian Buddhist leaders embraced it in building Buddhist movements for waging peace, claiming rights, and enacting justice. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a spike in scholarship on Engaged Buddhism in Asia that has not been seen since.
What does Engaged Buddhism look like today? How are scholars of Buddhism, religious practitioners, and Buddhist activists embracing, rejecting, or modifying the term? And what does the very term imply about Buddhism and its engagement in global affairs? This talk explores this powerful concept and the controversies that continue to attend it.