The Buddhist Principles of Social Justice: An Application in Social Work Practice

Sitthiporn Khetjoi, Phra Worachat Thasa



The concept of social justice, which was central to the political thought generating and sustaining the French Revolution of 1789, as conceived by modern theorists, is barely two hundred years old. In the western tradition when we turn to earlier periods, we find that whenever and wherever social institutions like family, clan, occupations etc. arose, justice was sought in thought and beliefs of mankind, and social justice had no role in it. However, the idea of human dignity and the importance of human existence has been the basis of all cultures. Still, almost all of the ancient philosophies and religions paid scant attention to issues of social justice in the modern sense.  Walking down the memory lane to Protestantism and the Renaissance, and ultimately back to the Biblical concept of human being, we see that social issues have been addressed from early times. However, it did not concern itself with the basic questions of social justice. It was only from the eighteenth century that social justice emerged as an important issue in political thought and social philosophy in the West; and the use of the term ‘social justice’ in official documents started from the latter part of the nineteenth century.

 Keywords:  Buddhist Principles; Social Justice; Social Work


1.Department of Social Work, Mahamakut Buddhist University, Isan  Campus, Khonkaen,Thailand.

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