Contemporary Buddhism 21 (1-2):170-189 (2020)

ABSTRACT This paper aims to understand the complex and ambivalent relationships that globalized Buddhism between Asia and the West has with the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of Buddhism’s adaptation of practices to the pandemic and its representational position in society. Buddhism is not the most renowned religion in the media for its interpretation of the causes of the pandemic, nor is it the one that has epitomized the most original adaptations, particularly digital ones, of religions in a context of restricted sociability. Above all, it offers introspective resources that can help to psychologically resist the lockdown and the restriction of sociability imposed by governments, thus psychologically palliating a normative and brutal inflection of social habits. Based on an analysis of information published in analogical and electronic media, as well as personal knowledge of the empirical expressions and scriptural forms of Buddhism, this article intends to show that, far from being limited to this single contribution, Buddhism has an ambivalent relationship to the COVID-19 pandemic, much like other religions.
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DOI 10.1080/14639947.2022.2029212
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