Buddhism, peace, Sarvodaya Sharmadana, collective mobilization, populism


Buddhism in its various incarnations has both aided and hindered the peace processes in Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya Shramadana, a Buddhist development organization, stands out in the way it uses religion to promote peace through a more humanist interpretation of Buddhist teachings. While Sarvodaya's alternative approach toward the religion provides an optimistic space for promoting peace, its connections to and dependence on populism can also complicate its politics. This article argues that the most effective means of peace work can be found through the same channel of collective mobilization that hindered it, Buddhism.

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