The interaction between socialism and Buddhism has usually been perceived as being marked by antagonism, violence and oppression, however, it has often been overlooked that in certain historical periods' models of 'Buddhist Socialism', 'Dhammic Socialism' or 'Buddhist Marxism' were widespread in Asia. As a political ideology that advocates a form of socialism based on the principles of Buddhism, it attracted the attention not only of religious professionals, but also of politicians and leaders of social reform movements.
This book explores the concrete religious, political and historical constellations these movements were grounded in and gives a comprehensive overview of the diverse interactions of different types of Buddhism(s) and various form of socialism. By taking a look at the religious movements and specific propagators of Buddhist Socialism, a comparative framework is advanced to determine what similarities and differences there existed in regard to the connection of Buddhist teachings, socialist ideals and practices. A substantial introduction and several chapters will examine the 'common core' of these movements by focusing on topics such as social welfare and justice, the distribution of property, utopianism, anti-colonial resistance and secularism, and the book will progress to examine how Buddhism and Socialism were conceptualized to be an integral part of Asian modernities, contributing to the creation of social justice, welfare and new ways of interpreting and spreading the dhamma.
Drawing on examples from a wide range of countries within Asia, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars alike.