The conference program committee invites proposals for papers from academics, researchers, professionals, community leaders, and graduate students interested in the study, and involved in the application, of Applied Buddhism. The conference will focus on the exploration of two current streams of Applied Buddhism, one in Buddhist countries that have responded to changes, challenges, and needs that have arisen in their homelands and abroad, and the other in traditionally non-Buddhist countries that have explored contemporary Buddhist applications to address current issues or to meet various social needs. Examples of the former stream include evolving movements of Engaged Buddhism in Asia, while the latter stream involves application of Buddhist thought and practice beyond Asia. Both streams are applying Buddhist principles in fresh ways to address issues of war and peace, ecology, justice, interreligious dialogues, and to empower work in education, healthcare, social work, psychology and psychotherapy, hospice, chaplaincy, prison work, etc. Topics that could be discussed at this conference include (but are not limited to):

  • the historical application of Buddhist thought or practice to meet social or individual needs within an Asian culture in a previous century.
  • a topic in Engaged Buddhist thought or practice in Asia today.
  • contemporary application of Buddhist principles or practices to meet current needs in healthcare, education, psychology or psychotherapy, social work, prison chaplaincy, or another area of social need.
  • contemporary application of Buddhist principles or practices to help address current global problems or needs connected with social or economic development, violence, inequality, ecological destruction, human rights abuse, racial discrimination, gender issues, economic, political, social or criminal justice, or other such topics.
  • potential problems or critical questions raised by the attempt to apply Buddhist principles to address a contemporary problem or need.
  • problems or critical questions raised by the scientific appropriation of Buddhist concepts or practices for contemporary application.
  • the relationship between Buddhist social practices and cultural appropriation into mainstream culture.
  • potential problems or critical questions raised by the attempt to popularize Buddhism in non-Buddhist countries by packaging Buddhism as secular or non-Buddhist.

Papers presented in the conference will serve as the foundation for an edited volume.

Keynote Address
The Keynote Address of the conference will be given by Professor John Makransky. Professor Makransky is Associate Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, senior academic advisor for Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, and President of the Society of Buddhist-Christian studies.  John is the developer of the Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) model, and co-founder and guiding teacher of the Courage of Care Coalition and Foundation for Active Compassion, organizations that provide contemplative trainings in sustainable care and compassion for people in caring professions and social activism.    John’s academic writings have focused on thought and practice in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, on adapting Buddhist contemplative practices to meet contemporary needs, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning.  A selected list of his academic publications can be found here:

Please submit a paper proposal (300 words) and a short biography (100 words) to the conference committee at for consideration. The deadline for the submission of proposals is March 15, 2016.  Accepted proposals will be notified by May 15, 2016 by email.

Inquiries may be addressed to Dr. Henry Shiu, Coordinator of Applied Buddhist Studies Initiative, at, with the subject heading: Conference on Applied Buddhism.