S02E04: Compassion in Practice: Buddhism & Law

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Buddhism has been the subject of much interdisciplinary dialogue in the academy.  Until recently, however, professional disciplines generally, and law in particular, have been largely absent from the conversation.

In this episode, Wall Scholar Hoi Kong invites Jinpa Thupten and Jessica Main to explore the actual and potential adaptions of Buddhist practices and concepts for training in professional disciplines, including medicine and law. They also discuss how Buddhist communities adopt institutional structures and address concerns that would be familiar to legal scholars.  Finally, they consider how the concept of justice—a central preoccupation of law—might be shaped by the idea of compassion—a central idea in Buddhism.

Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. is the Founder and Chairman of Compassion Institute, and the principal author of Compassion Cultivation Training™ (CCT©), the Institute’s flagship compassion education offering, developed while Jinpa was at Stanford University.

Jinpa has been the principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama since 1985.

Jessica Main is an associate professor and the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chair in Buddhism and Contemporary Society in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include Buddhism, ethics and human rights.

Further reading:

A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate can Transform our Lives  by Jinpa Thupten (Penguin, 2016)

“To Lament the Self: The Ethical Ideology of Takeuchi Ryō’on (1891-1968) and the Ōtani-ha Movement Against Buraku Discrimination” by Jessica Main (pp 137-163), in The Social Dimensions of Shin Buddhism, Ugo Dessi, Ed. (Brill, 2010)

Buddhism, Law and Comparative Law: the (Rebecca) French Connection by Hoi Kong ( JOTWELL, 2017)

The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy, A. Bächtiger, J. Dryzek, J. Mansbridge, M. Warren, eds (OAP, 2018)

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