Comparing Humanistic Buddhism And Engaged Buddhism

Good Essays
2. Compare the background and main features of Humanistic Buddhism and Engaged Buddhism.

In this essay, I will first compare the background of Humanistic Buddhism and Engaged Buddhism by looking into their time of happening, history background, reasons of emergence and their development in recent years. Next, I would compare the significant similarities and differences of Humanistic Buddhism and Engaged Buddhism.


Humanistic Buddhism

“Humanistic Buddhism” is a form of Buddhism that emphasises on cultivating one’s compassion through daily practice. It aims to shape a harmonious society by giving helping hands to those in need (What is Humanistic Buddhism, 2015).

“Humanistic Buddhism” (rensheng fojiao) was first introduced by the
…show more content…
It is a modern form of Buddhism that involves actively however non-violently in the social, economic, political, social, and ecological problems of society (King, The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, 2005).

In contrast, “Engaged Buddhism” has no single founder comparable to Taixu. Engaged Buddhism is a group of independent movements that came up in the 20th century in direct response to the crises in Asia (King, Engaged Buddhism and Humanistic Buddhism: A Comparison of Principles and Practices, 2009). However, the most iconic person representing Engaged Buddhism would be Thich Nhat Hanh, who led anti-war protests, rebuilt villages, resettled refugees, held peace talks internationally and published books during the Vietnam War in 1950s (King, The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, 2005). At that time, Nhat Hanh saw that lives were harsh and there were needs to stand up for their political stances and bring peace for the suffered people in Vietnam. Therefore, he founded peace-oriented educational and religious organisations that trained people to provide help and relief to victims of the war, influence public policies and views, and bring love and peace to the world. Since then, more Buddhists were engaged in social development. This was similar to Taixu’s idea
…show more content…
It also became an agent of mental and practical liberation to the oppressed peoples and of economic development to the disadvantaged peoples. “Engaged Buddhism” is defined by the intention of Buddhists of whatever sect to apply the values and teachings of Buddhism, especially compassion and love, to the problems of society in a nonviolent way, and are motivated by concern for others’ welfare, and is served as a channel to express their own Buddhist practices. So, “Engaged Buddhism” is neither a new Buddhist sect nor does it belong to one of the established sects. This engagement is not detached from Buddhist spirituality, but it is a modern phenomenon to express their Buddhism spirits and values to the problems of society (King, The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, 2005). On the other hand, the reason of emergence of “Engaged Buddhism” was similar to the third problem Taixu discovered as I mentioned above. Nhat Hanh also saw that people were having a difficult time which government had paid little effort to take care of public lives and welfare during the Vietnam War. He founded that there was a necessity to
Get Access