While non-violence and detachment may be central to Buddhist teachings, there are growing accounts of human rights abuses – often along ethnic lines – in Buddhist-majority countries like Myanmar and Sri Lanka, often carried out in the name of Buddhism. So how does Buddhism intersect with political power? And how has Buddhism itself been changed by the demands and constraints of the modern nation-state? Southeast Asia historian Assoc Prof Patrick Jory and Asia cultural and environmental historian Dr Ruth Gamble join host Jane Hutcheon to examine the junction of Buddhism, social life and politics in majority Theravada Buddhist countries.
Main image: L->R: Dr Ruth Gamble and Assoc Prof Patrick Jory. Listing image: Buddha statue, Yangon. Credit: Bianca Polak/Flickr.