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Buddhism and Conflict Resolution

Buddhistdoor Global | 2020-03-20 |
From mediamonitors.netFrom mediamonitors.net
We live in volatile times. The global climate crisis is well under way, with humanitys future mortgaged on the ongoing destruction of the planets ecological habitability. The coronavirus is one of many considerable challenges to worldwide health and the international economy, which is buckling under populist surges across continents, potential flare-ups for conflict in multiple regions, and demagogic governments. All of these factors have led and will lead to significant multi-dimensional conflict. 
 
In legal contexts, conflict resolution refers to the desired outcome of “mediation,” in which a neutral party assists two antagonists through constructive discussion and negotiation to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion. Note the condition mutually acceptable. The law profession understandably sees this framing as the most ideal and practicable way forward to resolving conflicts. Yet we must also ask the question of whether, just because two parties might agree to such a conclusion, it is the most ethical, moral, or satisfactory outcome. We also need to broaden what we mean by conflict resolution because, unlike in court, conflict almost never involves only two parties: its manifestations are interconnected, with multiple competing interest groups, and the big problems of our age, such as environmental conflict, political conflict, and others, will need a big tent under which dialogue and mediation can be conducted.
 
With this appreciation for our interconnectedness in mind, Buddhistdoor Globals special issue for 2020 explores some of the most complex conflicts now unfolding, from political and religious unrest across the world to clashing interests in the final decade we have left to mitigate climate disaster. We analyze the root causes and propose ways forward that, while keeping feasibility in mind, does not become attached to a technocratic vision of managing conflict, instead allowing the Buddhist heart of compassion and wisdom to challenge all parties to envision greater possibilities.
 

Explore our Special Issue for 2020 (updated quarterly)

Metta's Hard Stare

By Mettamorphsis – 31 August 2020

What does it mean to have "tough love?" Does it lie in the hard stare, the resolute smile, the unwavering commitment to "show, don't tell?" If loving-kindness does not mean being a doormat, how do we stand firm when conflict arises or is foisted on us?

Read more . . .

Doing Conflict Better

By Ratnadevi – 26 June 2020

A reflection on the roots of our conflict-prone minds.

Read more . . .

Revolution and Counterrevolution in Contemporary India

By Mayura Choudhari – 20 March 2020

India is in turmoil. Mayura Choudhari argues that this conflict has always been present, manifest at different points in Indian history, and now manifesting in the Hindutva agenda of the BJP. The conflict between Brahmin-inspired “majoritarian” Hindu nationalism and the secularist ideals of pluralistic India came to a head with protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens.

Read more . . .

A Buddhist Approach to Interreligious Conflict and Harmony

By Rev. T. Sumiththa Thero – 20 March 2020

Religious conflict has troubled the human conscience for millennia. The Buddha himself had to engage with diverse rival schools and critiques of his Buddhist order and teachings of the higher truth or reality. The Buddhas criteria for engagement and emphasis on education point the way to an approach that sees conflict and argument as the catalyst toward greater understanding rather than conflict.  

Read more . . .

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