th en Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalay University

Building a Harmonious Society, at Theater C
Panel Discussion on Friday, 13 May 2011 at Classrooms Building, MCU Main Campus
View MCU Conference Hall Floor Plan & Classrooms Building

There are twenty papers in this session. The papers in this session address a multitude of doctrinal items useful for comprehension and tolerance of others. Buddhists are interested in creating or maintaining harmonious societies, as it is a natural function of their social-guidance system, rooted in utterances from discourses and aspects of discipline. Such an aspiration for a harmonious society, is found through examining cross-cultural interchanges, education reforms, and even allowing qualified teachers to immigrate into foreign lands which would increase interfaith opportunities.

Additional ideas touched upon in the seminar will include: Plato's ideas on friendship, Islamic social values, temple-paintings, the role of widows, gypsies and untouchables embracing Buddhism, how moral conscience and moral dread serve as a guide for greater social interactions, dependent origination, group dynamics, the role of lay people in a cohesive Buddhist society, the origin of ethics and harmony in society, and how the perfections and the mind have the ability, like kamma, to protect oneself and play a role in justice.

These are just some of the doctrinal aspects from Buddhists that serve as a catalyst for improving society, harmoniously - necessary in our globalized world which is full of diversity.

Moderator Name


Chief Moderator (Session 1)

Prof. Dr. Damien Keown
United Kingdom
Dr. Damien Keown is a prominent bioethicist and authority on Buddhist bioethics. He currently teaches in the Department of History at the University of London. Keown earned a B.A. in religious studies from the University of Lancaster in 1977 and a D.Phil. from the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University in 1986.


Moderator (Session 1)

Dr. Jonathan H. X. Lee
United States of America
He is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies who specializes in Southeast Asian and Sino-Southeast Asian American studies. He received his PhD in religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the Program Co-chair of the Religions of Asia section for the American Academy of Religion, Western Region (AAR/WR) conference.


Moderator (Session 2)

Prof. Dr. Vanchai Vatthanasap


Moderator (Session 2)

Venerable Bhikkhu Nandisena
Ven. BhikkhuNandisena is the abbot of the monastery DhammaVihara, spiritual director and religious minister of Buddhismo Theravada M?xico A.R. He studied Pali Language, Pali Canon (Tipitaka), Abhidhamma and meditation with the late Ven. U Silananda. He was representative of Mexico at World Buddhist Supreme Conference in 2006.


Moderator (Session 3)

United Kingdom
Ven. Dr Mahinda Deegalle is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries at Bath Spa University, United Kingdom. Ven. Deegalle graduated from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka with first class honours and received Fulbright / President's scholarship to carry out Master in Theological Studies (Comparative Religion) degree at Harvard University.


Moderator (Session 3)

Ven. Dr. Phra Khru Pipitsutatorn

Panelist Name and Paper title


Buddhist Values towards Conflict and Peace

Ven. Assist. Prof. Dr. Phramaha Hansa Dhammahaso
Along with being the Director of the IABU, he is the supervised instructor at King Prajadhipok's Institute, as well as the Assistant to Rector for Academic Affairs and the Director of the Languages Institute of MCU. He received his PhD in Buddhist Studies from MCU. He has written numerous articles and participated in many seminars.


Establishment of a Harmonized Nation Created by the Power of Buddhism

Rev.Noriaki Kunitomo
Rev.Noriaki Kunitomo is senior lecturer and working many Zen temple in Japan. Also He has been lecture other than Buddhist University which is Jouchi University and St, Thomas University. He is acting as president of World Zen Buddhist Association in Kyoto, Japan from 2010.


The Pair of Virtues is a channel of Happiness

Ven. Aung Shing Marma
Aung Shing Marma has just earned B.A. first class honour from the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU), Bangkok, Thailand. He has contributed various papers including Forest Conservation and Dhamma Development at ICUNDV conference in 2010, Brahmavihara: A Solution to World Problem at UNDV Conference in 2009, and many more.


Building a Harmonious Society: Buddhist Introspection

Ven. Dr. M. Khemananda
Sri Lanka
He has taught many classes and is currently a lecturer in Sri Lankan International Buddhist Academy in Pallekele, Kandy Sri Lanka and. He received the first class honor Bachelors Degree for Pali from the University of Peradeniya and Master of Arts Degree for Sanskrit from the Buddhist and Pali University in Sri Lanka.



Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena
Venerable Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre in Ladakh, Himalaya, INDIA, since then he has been working tirelessly for the education and shelter of poor and deprived children, healthcare for poor patients, women empowerment, home for the aged and destitute and many other multifarious humanitarian services by establishing a hospital, old age home, nunnery, monastery, hostel, school etc., besides this venerable is an erudite Dhamma speaker and Meditation Master.


Buddhist Ethics for the Modern World

Ven. Bhikkhu Nandisena
Ven. Bhikkhu Nandisena is the abbot of the monastery DhammaVihara, spiritual director and religious minister of Buddhismo Theravada M?xico A.R. He studied Pali Language, Pali Canon (Tipitaka), Abhidhamma and meditation with the late Ven. U Silananda. He is the representative of Mexico at the World Buddhist Supreme Conference, Kobe, Japan.


Value of Friendship In The Buddhist Perspective

Rev. Wetara Mahinda
Sri Langka
He is a senior lecturer and former Head of Department of Archaeology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He is also attached to the Washington Buddhist Vihara as the Dhamma teacher and academic advisor. He has made presentations in many countries on Buddhism in practical life and history of medicine in South Asia.


Relational Buddhism: Toward the Social Construction of Societal Harmony In-Between-Selves

Dr. Maurits G.T. KWEE
Dr. Maurits is currently committed to realize a paradigm shift by revamping Buddhism into Relational Buddhism through a confluence of the Buddhist Psychology of Awakening and the Social Psychology of Social Construction. He obtained PhD in Medical Science at Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Considering Justice in Contemporary Buddhist Thought

Prof. James Blumenthal
United States of America
He is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University and Professor of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa College. He is an author, editor, and translator of various books and articles. He was honored to translate Nâgârjuna's Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2004.


Role of Buddhism in the Adaptation to the Widowhood caused by the Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka

W.M Dhanapala Wijesinghe
Sri Langka
He is a social researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Srilanka. He obtained Master of Philosophy in Sociology & Criminology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. His research interests lie in Buddhist studies, Gender studies and Crime & Criminal justice.


Avalokites'vara and Compassion: Faith and Practice for Harmonious Living Beyond Asian/Asian American Communities

Asst. Prof. Dr. Jonathan H. X. Lee
United States of America
He is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies who specializes in Southeast Asian and Sino-Southeast Asian American studies. He received his PhD in religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the Program Co-chair of the Religions of Asia section for the American Academy of Religion, Western Region (AAR/WR) conference.


The "Middle Way Approach": Harmonious Mediation and Intercultural Discourse in Thai University Students' English Written Essays

Mr. Udom Srinon
He is a lecturer in the Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at Kasetsart University. He has conducted studies based on SFL (Systemic Functional Linguistics) and through Buddhist virtues and perspectives. He is now waiting for the conferment of his PhD completion in Linguistics at the University of Adelaide, Australia.


Gypsies Embracing Buddhism: A Step Forward For Building A Harmonious Society In Europe

Pravin Bhalesain
Pravin Bhalesain has done Master of Technology in Information Technology from India's premier institution Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. He is Pali Language Working Group Convener for the Union Catalogue of Buddhist Texts [UCBT] Project as the Representative of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.


The Hinterland Harmony: Buddhist and Muslim Relations

Zaenal Eko Putro
Zaenal Abidin Ekoputro gained his B.A. degree in Philosophy from Gadjah Mada University of Yogyakarta. After spending several years in NGO' activity concerning on interfaith issues at the Forum Persaudaraan Umat Beriman (Jogja interfaith Forum) and then moving to Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP) in Jakarta, he pursued his master degree in Sociology from University of Indonesia (UI).


Preserving Family Cohesiveness In Compliance With Buddhist Teachings

Ms. Saw Yee Mon received her B.A (Hons.) in English from University of Yangon and her B.Sc. in Accounting & Finance from London School of Economics & Political Science, UK. Again she obtained Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the Yangon Institute of Economics. She is a lecturer in Economics at Regent Business Academy and the Crane International School.


The Harmonious Buddhist Society in Ancient Sri Lanka as Depicted on Kandyan Buddhist Paintings

Dr. Leena Seneheweera
Sri Lanka
Dr. LeenaSeneheweera was former Head of the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She conducted research in Buddhist art history, Music, Musicilogy (Chinese and South Asian and Music Education) and taught Music (Indian and Sri lankan) Musicology, Music Education Art History, and Aesthetics.


Towards a Harmonious University Community: the Paramitas as Praxis

Cynthia Drake
United States of America
Cynthia Drake teaches Contemplative Learning practices at Naropa University and English Literature at the University of Colorado. She also teaches meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist community. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature, with a focus on Asian spiritual influence in early 20th century British literature.


Supporting Harmonious Relations through Using Buddhist Principles to Conduct Process Groups

Dr. Susan U. Nimmanheminda
United States of America
Susan Nimmanheminda, received her PhD in psychoanalysis from the International University of Graduate Studies and her MSW from the University of Denver.


Justice as a Basic Instrument to Create Harmonious Society: with Special Reference to Buddhism and Platonism

Ratugamage Asha Nimali Fernando
Sri Langka
Ratugamage Asha Nimali Fernando graduated from University of Sri Jayewardenepura and her master dissertation at University of Mysore, India, was awarded gold medal and cash prize to be the best post graduate research of the year. At present she is a Senior Lecturer at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. And PhD candidate University of Stuttgart, Germany.


Building a Harmonious Society: Enhancing our Respect for Each Other

Joan Buchanan
New Zealand
Ms Buchanan is a senior student of His Holiness the SakyaTrizin and Lama Choedak Rinpoche and is a founding member of the New Zealand Buddhist Council and was the principal project coordinator for all of the events in this paper. In 2010, she was awarded the Harmony Award by the Federation of Islamic Association of New Zealand.



Panel Secretary

Suneeruck Sookthawarakorn
Suneeruck Sookthawarakorn was formerly a Financial Officer at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, an Office Manager at Rothmans of Pall (Singapore) Pte.Ltd., a CDBG Program Specialist at the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, an Assistant Director, Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services, Los Angeles.

Panel Staff

Nattawat Chantanapokul (Nat)
Tel: 084-674-1188
Cholpaphat Somakettarin (Rutch)
Tel: 081-826-2425

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