Noel Sheth, SJ, Sulak Sivaraksa’s Buddhist Social Concern and Holistic Development

While rooted in Buddhism, Sulak Sivaraksa reinterprets Buddhism to spell out its holistic social and developmental implications. Drawing inspiration from certain Christian thinkers, he also critiques both the secularist and consumerist globalized development of the West as well as of his own country of Siam or Thailand, and proposes as well as tries to implement an all-round social concern and development based on Buddhist religious principles. The lecture concludes with examples of modern holistic social upliftment and development in Buddhism and Christianity, even though their worldviews differ.

Professor Sheth, SJ, is Professor of Indian Philosophies and Religions at the Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth and its former academic Rector. He holds a doctorate in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard, and is a reputed scholar in Sanskrit and Pali Studies, especially on exegesis and from the point of view of comparative philosophy and theology. Next to his involvement in several national and international learned bodies, he is an adviser to the Jesuit General for inter-religious relations with Hinduism and a member of the international Secretariat for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations for the world-wide Society of Jesus.