Congrats to Masumi Hayashi-Smith for having a thesis chapter out in JSSW. DS rocks!
Contesting Buddhisms on Conflicted Land: Sarvodaya Shramadana and Buddhist Peacemaking
This article explores the multiple manifestations of Buddhism when mixed with populism in Sri Lanka. Buddhism in its various incarnations has both aided and hindered the peace processes in the country. When appropriated to serve nationalist and political causes, Buddhism became an antagonistic feature of the Sri Lankan conflict. Sarvodaya Shramadana, a Buddhist development organization, stands out in the way it uses religion to promote peace through a more open minded interpretation of Buddhist teachings. While Sarvodaya’s alternative approaches toward the religion provide an optimistic space for promoting peace, its connections to and dependance on populism can also tether it to politics it may not directly support. This article argues that the most effective means of peace work can be found though the same channel of collective mobilization that hindered it, Buddhism.