Journal article

Karma, Social Justice and Lessons from Anti-Oppressive Practice for Buddhist Practitioners

Wei Wu Tan

Sheng Yen Studies | Sheng Yen Education Foundation | Published : 2020


Traditional Buddhist narratives on inequality are based on the doctrine of karma. While the doctrine of karma or the belief in some universal moral law spanning the past, present and future is an inalienable and essential part of Buddhism, conventional narratives of karma tend to be reductive. When used unskilfully, such narratives could be construed in sociological terms as victim-blaming, as many studies have shown. Moreover, these narratives are often conservative in that they could be seen as order or status-quo preserving. This article reviews the karma conundrum and modern Buddhist responses to the challenges it poses. It is argued that in modern societies where social justice is incre..

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University of Melbourne Researchers