Buddhist Economics and the Economics of Buddhism

Event Date: 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Humanities and Social Change Center @ Robertson Gym 1000A

Event Price: 


This lecture explores the ways in which capitalism and neo-liberalism have shaped global perceptions of Buddhism as well as specific local practices and attitudes. Buddhist institutions are complex and multifarious entities, and have always operated as economic agents. This lecture will discuss both the "Economics of Buddhism" as a scholarly project about modes of economic behavior (wealth acquisition and expenditure, value creation) and "Buddhist Economics” as an advocacy project aimed at a more just economic order inspired by Buddhist ethical norms. The lecture will be followed by a conversation between Richard Payne and Fabio Rambelli about their book Buddhism Under Capitalism (London: Bloomsbury, 2023).

Richard K. Payne is Dean and Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California. A member of the doctoral faculty of the Graduate Theological Union, he is also a collaborating researcher with the Open Research Center for the Humanities, Science, and Religion at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan. He is an ordained Shingon Buddhist priest.

Fabio Rambelli is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies, and International Shinto Foundation Chair in Shinto Studies at UCSB. His main field of research and teaching is Japanese religions and cultural history, and especially the Esoteric Buddhist tradition (mikkyō) and the history of Shinto.

The Capps Center is pleased to be a cosponsor of this event, along with UCSB's Department of Religious Studies, Shinto Studies @ UCSB, and the Humanities and Social Change Center at UCSB.