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Engaged Buddhist Groups

Engaged Buddhist groups constitute a diverse range and network of leaders and communities that have made significant contributions to contemporary Buddhist transnational activism through their espousal of social critique, nonviolent political action, charitable service, and fellowship. Also known as socially engaged Buddhism, the movement developed throughout Asia over the course of the 20th century and more recently in North America, Europe, and elsewhere. A popular idea among intellectuals in French Indochina after World War II was the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's theory of engagement, which championed the resistance hero as a prophetic redeemer who responds to oppression by charting a path toward emancipation. The Vietnamese monk and poet Thich Nhat Hanh likely drew on this idea for inspiration when he coined the term engaged Buddhism in ...

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