Civilian displacement is a common consequence of armed conflict with grave humanitarian implications. In a new article published by the Journal of Buddhist Ethics titled “Legal Reasoning About Displacement and Responsibility: A Dialogue Between the Buddhist Monastic Discipline and IHL”, Prof. Christie Kilby analyzes Buddhist codes of monastic discipline in order to illuminate how these legal traditions have reasoned about the significance of home and the harms of displacement. She then brings her findings into conversation with the legal reasoning that international humanitarian law (IHL) requires of parties to armed conflict whose decisions may result in displacement of civilians. She argues that both IHL and the Buddhist monastic codes take into account responsibility for the causes of harm, for direct harm, and for the reverberating fallout of harm. By exploring the ethical values and reasoning habits that these two traditions hold in common, Buddhist actors—in military and civil society—may strengthen their commitment to prevent displacement and to protect displaced people and their hosts during times of conflict.

Please read the article here.

Prof. Christie Kilby is Associate Professor of Religion at James Madison University and specializes in Tibetan Buddhism. In this field, she was awarded a fellowship by the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia to apply analytical bibliography (the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects) to Tibetan literary materials. She earned her B.A. degree in Religious Studies from Davidson College, her Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and her Ph.D. in History of Religions from the University of Virginia. She received a Fulbright-Hays fellowship in 2013-14 and has conducted extensive fieldwork among Tibetan communities in China, India, Nepal, and the United States.