Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

56. Are Buddhists Pacifists?

Buddhism in Five Minutes - Elizabeth J. Harris

Peter Harvey [+-]
University of Sunderland
Peter Harvey is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Sunderland. He co-founded with Ian Harris the UK Association for Buddhist Studies and edits its journal Buddhist Studies Review. His research has been on early Buddhist thought and practice, Buddhist ethics and making accessible the rich history of Buddhist thought.


In line with the key Buddhist ideal of loving-kindness and compassion for all beings, including those who might be seen as “enemies,” one of the four most serious rules that Buddhist monks and nuns are required to follow is to avoid intentional killing of a human being. To break this rule entails permanent exclusion from the monastic order, apart from any legal repercussions. There have, though, been some examples of going against the rule, as I will explain.

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Harvey, Peter. 56. Are Buddhists Pacifists?. Buddhism in Five Minutes. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 284-288 Oct 2021. ISBN 9781800500907. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40797. Date accessed: 27 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40797. Oct 2021

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