Closing of World Buddhist Forum

There are many versions of “world Buddhism”. In fact, it would seem that there are a number of attempts to “claim the global” in the Buddhist world. On this subject, here is a report from the China Daily on the coming to a close of the third World Buddhist Forum (and not the Third-World Buddhist Forum, as I initially read it) in Hong Kong. Although having apparent global aspirations, this particular initiative seems to be firmly grounded in China, as the following quote suggests:

The forum concluded with a declaration calling for “a harmonious world begins in the mind; a synergy of conditions relies on common aspirations and actions.”

The forum also announced that Lingshan of Wuxi, a city in East China’s Jiangsu province, will be the permanent venue of the World Buddhist Forum. The announcement was followed by an endorsement ceremony in which plaque was conferred to Zhu Kejiang, mayor of Wuxi.

Co-founded by the four Chinese regions, the World Buddhism Forum is aimed at building an equal and open platform for high-level dialogues in the world of Buddhism. The first forum was held in East China’s Zhejiang province in 2006. The second forum was opened in Jiangsu province and closed in China’s Taiwan in 2009.

I think this would be an interesting question to explore: how is “global” or “world” Buddhism being explicitly constructed or framed by different countries and how do these attempts reflect current national and transnational agendas?


About Jovan Maud

I'm a lecturer in the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany. Interests include: transnational religious networks, popular religion in Thailand, religious tourism and commodification, and digital anthropology.
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