Sulak Sivaraksa. Conflict, Culture, Change: Engaged Buddhism in a Globalizing World. Foreword by Donald Swearer. Boston, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2005. Paperback, x + 145 pages.
Sulak Sivaraksa, a practicing Buddhist and former monk, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work in Thailand on behalf of economic equality, justice, accountable politics, and environmental responsibility. He is the founder of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and the author of over 100 publications, including Seeds of Power: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society. Educated in Britain, where he also worked as a commentator for the BBC and as a teacher at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Sulak Sivaraksa is a respected intellectual and social activist.
The present book is a collection of essays, which give one a good idea of the author’s breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding, as well as his wonderful ability to apply the ancient teachings of the Buddha to the practical problems of our modern society. Not surprisingly, the book begins with a consideration of the role of nonviolence in a world riddled with conflict of one kind or another. Next he addresses the enduring issue of racial and cultural reconciliation, arguing that reconciliation is not merely about forgiveness and compensation.
Sulak Sivaraksa also has many sound insights into the virtues of simplicity, humility, and compassion without which our world cannot survive. One essay focuses on the connection between Buddhism and Environmentalism, for which the author himself has been a vigorous spokesman.
This small volume has a punch all its own: It speaks with integrity.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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