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A Critical Discussion on Max Weber’s Argument of Buddhism as an Anti-Political Religious Philosophy


Rev. Beligalle Dhammajoti


In spite of its relevance in everyday life, some perceive Buddhism is to be a philosophy that does not talk about mundane matters such as socio-economic and political aspects of life, therein only supra-mundane facts are discussed. For instance, Max Weber conceptualizes that Buddhism is asocial, anti-political and other-worldly religion. Such preoccupied assertions and mistaken-beliefs about original teachings of the Buddha still thrive. In this paper, thus teachings of the Buddha pertaining to the political philosophy are examined in order to refute the preoccupied assertions that Buddhism is anti-political. The embryonic form of ideas and concepts pertaining to the Buddhist Political philosophy are spread throughout the Canonical texts, mainly in Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka and in Jātaka stories in which significant philosophical delineations are explained as ethical and didactic theories and can explicitly be used in today's political arena. Finally, by explaining the political teachings of the Buddha, the paper proves that Max Weber's misconception is groundless and unjustifiable.

Keywords: Aggaññasutta, Anti-political religion, Cakkavatti-sihanādasutta, Kūtadantasutta, Max Weber

General Information

ISSN: 2279-3933
Frequency: Quartely
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Upali Pannilage

Executive Editor: Dr. S Wijeratne

                              Mr. Renuka Priyantha                               Dr. HIGC Kumara

                              Mr. MMRKM Bandara

                              Mr. Samitha Udayanga

                              Dr. KH Ramanayaka

                              Mr. IDKL Fernando

Abstracting/ Indexing: Google Scholar
E-mail: jsshr@hss.ruh.ac.lk