But Is It Buddhist?


  • Blaze Marpet Northwestern University




Buddhist violence, methodology, religion


In If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence, Michael Jerryson reports that his research on Buddhist violence frequently elicits two responses. The first is that the violence he has analyzed is not really Buddhist because true Buddhists are non-violent. The second is that instances of putatively Buddhist violence are not really Buddhist because they are ultimately about something besides religion, such as ethnicity, politics, or economics. This paper offers a thoroughgoing refutation of both of these responses. First, there is no principled way to establish the claim that true Buddhists are non-violent. Second, the claim that putatively Buddhist violence is ultimately about something besides religion does not provide reason against classifying the violence as “Buddhist.”

Author Biography

Blaze Marpet, Northwestern University

Blaze Marpet is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. His research interests are in ethics and epistemology in classical Greek, Roman, and Indian philosophy. More specifically, his research focuses on the role and value of reason in Plato, the Buddhist Dharmakīrti, and the Naiyāyika Vātsyāyana. He also maintains interests in the histories of logic and skepticism.


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How to Cite

Marpet, B. (2021). But Is It Buddhist?. Buddhist Studies Review, 38(1), 69–78. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.43217