Prajna Vihara: Vol. 19, No. 2 (July - December 2018)

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    Individual enlightenment and social responsiblity: on the sociological interpretations of the Holy Monk Khruba Boonchum
    (Assumption University Press, 2018) Dayweinda Yeehsai ; Giordano, John
    This paper will assess some sociological interpretations of Theravada Buddhism and Holy Monks which rely on such concepts as charisma, millenarianism and utopianism. In the past, sociologiests like Weber and Murti misinterpreted Buddhism as focusing upon individual enlightenment rather than the welfare of society. But these interpretations of Theravāda Buddhism overlook that the Buddhist concept of enlightenment has a deep relationship with social development and social responsibilities. Buddhism has a highly developed sociological basis and need to be understood in its own terms. The practice of Buddhist monks should be understood by means of Buddhist sociology. To illustrate this, this paper will discuss the Theravāda Buddhist concept of the ten perfections (pāramī) in general and perfection of morality (sīla-pāramī) in particular. This will also be illustrated by Buddhist tale of Bhuridatta-Jātaka and the case of Spiritual Master, the Most Venerable Khruba Boonchum, Nyanasamvaro.
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    Human autonomy and the overcoming of alienation in immaterial labor with reference to Zen Buddhism
    (Assumption University Press, 2018) Teerapong Jiaranaidilok ; Giordano, John
    This paper, will be a reflection on the changes in labor and alienation in the information age. It will focus specifically on the concept of immaterial labor and how this effects human autonomy and the consciousness of alienation. The paper will trace these concepts from the writings of Marx, to the approaches of Hardt and Negri and Franco “Bifo” Berardi. It will then show how the shortcomings of these theories which concern human autonomy in the face of the alienation of material labor can be complemented by the insights into practice developed by Zen Buddhism.