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In Defense of Dharma: Just-War Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka
This work examines war and violence in Sri Lanka through the lens of cross-cultural studies on just-war tradition and theory. It argues that the ongoing Sinhala-Tamil conflict is often justified by a resort to religious stories that allow for war when Buddhism is in peril.
Hardcover, 209 pages
Published October 25th 2002 by Routledge
(first published 2002)
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This book was a wonderful ethnography on the relationship between religion and violence in contemporary Sri Lanka. To many people in the West the concept of a "Buddhist Holy War" sounds like an oxymoron, as Buddhism is perceived as a a peaceful religion incapable of justifying such horrendous acts. The point of this book was not to paint Buddhism as a violent religion, but rather show that even the most seemingly peaceful texts can be interpreted to promote war (and vice versa: Mahatma Gandhi fa ...more