This introduction offers a brief overview of the academic study of Buddhist ethics. Employing an analogy drawn from the P?li Buddhist texts, the first section discusses how the study of Buddhist texts on ethics can serve as a means of reflection on our actions and on our ways of thinking, both in traditional contexts and in the modern world. The second section briefly surveys some key principles of Buddhist ethical thought and their historical context. The third section offers an overview of the volume, its parts and individual chapters, drawing out key connections between the topics discussed. The introduction concludes with a discussion of the continuing legacy of colonialism in the academic study of Buddhist ethics, arguing that engaging (also) with non-Western systems of ethical thought—in a rigorous, critical, and respectful way—is itself an ethical imperative today.
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