"Law, Buddhism, and Social Change," a two-day academic conference at the University at Buffalo, opened with a conversation with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on the morning of Wednesday, September 20, 2006, in the Law Library in O'Brian Hall on UB's North Campus. This important conference represented the path-breaking efforts of the Law and Buddhism project at UB, the only such academic endeavor in the world. Although Law and Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism are established and well-endowed areas of study, the study of Law and Buddhism is new. Renowned scholars from all over the world joined UB professors of law, philosophers and local lawyers, to discuss a set of questions that the Dalai Lama had rarely, or never before, addressed. The conversation was expansive with questions ranging from constitutions as a social order and government regulation of television, to the purpose of criminal punishment and the Karmic consequences of legal decisions. The conference discussions and presentations focused on three central themes:

  • The Buddha as Lawgiver: Monastic and Secular Communities
  • Social Change and Buddhism: Buddhism's Effect on Different Legal Systems in Asia
  • Social Change and Conscience, Self and Society

  • Each theme was explored through participants’ own research as well as their reflections upon the remarks of the Dalai Lama.


    Bringing heart to the practice of law
    UB Reporter 2006-09-28

    Recent Submissions

    • Panel 3: Social Change and Conscience, Self and Society 

      Kenneth Ehrenberg, Co-facilitator, UB Philosophy and Law Winnifred Sullivan, Co-facilitator, UB Law; on leave for 2006-07 at the National Humanities Center George Hezel, UB Law, Director of Affordable Housing Clinic James Magavern, Law Practitioner and UB Law Lobsang Shastri, Librarian of the Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, India; Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University Kenneth Shockley, UB Philosophy (2011-10-13)
    • Panel 2: Social Change and Buddhism: Buddhism’s Effect on Different Legal Systems in Asia 

      David Engel, Facilitator, UB Law Timothy Brook, History and Academic Director, Contemporary Tibetan Studies Program, Institute of Asian Research, St. John’s College, University of British Columbia * Leslie Gunawardana, University of Perideniya, Sri Lanka * Richard Whitecross, Socio-Legal Studies, University of Edinburgh * Fernanda Pirie, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford (2011-10-13)
    • Day2, Panel 1: The Buddha as Lawgiver: Monastic and Secular Communities 

      George Dreyfus, Facilitator, Religious Studies, Williams College Rebecca French, UB Law Andrew Huxley, (by remote telecast) Law, Centre of South East Asian Studies and Centre of Buddhism Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Frank Reynolds, History of Religions and Buddhist Studies, University of Chicago Divinity School Vesna Wallace, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (2011-10-11)
    • Dalai Lama Part1: Conference Opening 

      ; Welcome by Law School Dean, Nils Olsen, and Baldy Center Director, Lynn Mather; Introduction of participants by conference convenor, Rebecca French (2011-10-11)