Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

JDC Seeks Interfaith dialogue on Poverty – The Buddhist View

Posted on: December 7, 2008

Jubilee Debt Campaign is actively seeking the support of all faith groups in the city. Over the  last 10 years it has become clear that debt and  poverty reduction in the developing world are issues where faith communities have a shared view.

By concentrating on the things we have in common rather than any differences. JDC is asking leading members of each faith group to set out  their view .

First in this series is one from YANN LOVELOCK

A Buddhist – but a Brummie first.


Birmingham Buddhist Peace Pagola

JDC in Birmingham has been an excellent example of interfaith work and a beacon for other regions.

The whole of the Buddhist religion is based on individual morality, individuals working together in a moral way for the good of the wider community.

This encompasses a balance between compassion and wisdom, founded on generosity.

The Buddha’s era coincided with the beginning of the capitalist system. The Buddha counselled kings on the necessity for economic justice and had bankers as his disciples; some key spiritual metaphors are drawn from banking!

His teaching embraces relationships, eg between husband and wife or within the family or between employer and employee, and these are seen as templates for creating social welfare and harmony. It covers financial responsibility and mutual respect. He criticises miserliness and wants us to realise and act upon the recognition of our interdependence.

Application to debt. It is important to ask: who was lending? To whom? Why? How come governments  allowed this to take place in inappropriate circumstances?

We should not just be cancelling debt but looking to the future and alternative arrangements where this is unlikely to bring relief.

In our interfaith work on debt together we should be thinking about appropriate help to those individuals suffering under terrible regimes; what counts is individuals at either end working together towards a more just and humane world.

Send us your view and contribution from your faith community.

Audrey Miller


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