Introducing Buddhism and Law
Published as the introduction to Buddhism and Law: An Introduction, Rebecca Redwood French & Mark A. Nathan, eds.
Some edited volumes are self-explanatory and others need a substantial introduction to the material; the latter is the case with this volume. While the title is intriguing, many readers will need a guidebook to explain much of what they are encountering here. And it is well worth the effort as the material is some of the most exciting and unorthodox both on legal systems and in Buddhist Studies. Therefore, the task of this introduction to the volume is to provide readers with a road map to define the object of study, and to offer ways to think about the field of Buddhism and Law.
This introduction is divided into three main sections: Buddhism, Law, and Buddhism and Law. The first, Buddhism, presents a brief account of the life of the Buddha before turning to an examination of dharma, a fundamental term in Buddhism that has long been translated as law. A discussion of Buddhist monasticism and some of the misconceptions that have surrounded the place of the monastic community in society comes next, followed by a consideration of the Vinaya, the canonical Buddhist law codes that have served to regulate the religious life of Buddhist monasteries. Buddhist traditions also possess a wealth of other legal texts and materials, most of which reflect attempts to devise supplementary rules and regulations that fit local conditions, and these are introduced last
Cambridge University Press
Buddhist Studies | Law | Religion Law
Rebecca Redwood French & Mark A. Nathan, Introducing Buddhism and Law , in Buddhism and Law: An Introduction (Rebecca Redwood French & Mark A. Nathan, eds. Cambridge University Press 2014).