International Max Planck Workshop : « Sangha Economies: Temple Organisation and Exchanges in Contemporary Buddhism », 21-22 september 2017 (closing: 01/03/201)7

Call for Papers : International Max Planck Workshop : « Sangha Economies: Temple Organisation and Exchanges in Contemporary Buddhism », 21-22 september 2016, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

Organisers: Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko, Christoph Brumann, Beata Świtek – Research Group “Buddhist Temple Economies in Urban Asia”

Site de l’appel à contributions :

Deadline for abstracts submission : 01/03/2017

No other “world religion” has given monasticism such a central role as Buddhism in which the sangha – the community of monks and, where recognised, nuns – is one of the « three jewels » (together with the Buddha and his teachings). While the first monks where itinerant mendicants, their successors settled down, eventually establishing prosperous and often very long-lived institutions. When these house hundreds or even thousands of monks or nuns, it is only natural that economic and management concerns arise. But these are no less pressing when, as in Japan, most temples are sustained by just a single priest and his family.
Questions pertaining to the economic organisation of Buddhist monasteries and temples have been neglected for a long time, reflecting the otherworldly orientation of Buddhist doctrine that sees the attachment to worldly riches as a hindrance for salvation and enlightenment. In recent years, however, there is a perceptible turn towards “managing monks” (Jonathan Silk), with several historical studies showing how economic pursuits were part and parcel of Buddhist monasticism from early on. Contemporary Buddhism is increasingly being scrutinised for its economic entanglements, both in theological attempts to construct a Buddhist economic ethics and in empirical investigations.

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