The 4th Conference of IATBU: CALL FOR PAPERS

The 4th Conference of the International Association of
Theravada Buddhist Universities (IATBU)


Deadline submission of abstract: June 20, 2016
Conference dates: November 10 - 12, 2016
Venue: Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia
The keynote speaker: T.B.A

Buddhism in Contemporary World: Challenges and Opportunities

Modern period (as in contemporary sense) has often been described as complex and having multifaceted problems. To name but a few, the environmental issues have been on the rise, so are poverty, religious narrow-intolerance, ethnic conflicts, and commercialization of religious sites. These have presented increasing challenges to education and thinkers as well as people at large. Unfortunately it still remains to be seen if education in general and in particular here in this context Buddhist education and thinking can contribute to addressing these common issues.

This conference is called to mainly examine how Buddhism as a system of thought and education addresses contemporary issues, particularly in seeking the solutions to problems in the diverse civilization and society. The study about religion and contemporary issues involves two approaches in the discussion. The first approach is derived from the conceptual framework. This level includes critical study and examination of Buddhist literatures related to the issues addressed, by utilizing the teaching to overcome suffering in the world. The latter is a practical approach. Buddhism is a religion primarily adhered in the Asian countries. Besides, Buddhism also flourishes well in the archipelago where it coexists in more diverse backgrounds and multicultural societies. Therefore it is crucial to understand how Buddhism, in different parts of the globe, through its different bodies and forms (e.g. social work or other forms) tries to answer those challenges and thus become part of the solution to the problem that the society faces nowadays.

Given such a background and purpose, the following are topics, questions and issues that could be discussed in the workshops:
Buddhist Heritage Sites: along its historical development over the periods of time, Buddhism in different lands has come to have many historical sites, traces, artifacts as well as archives as heritage. These heritages in turn have strengthened a sense of Buddhist identity, Buddhist civilization as well as places of Buddhist spiritual focus. Over times many of the sites have, for the better or worse, become tourist destinations. This poses a great challenge in terms of keeping the balance between their original intended function as a religious heritage (spiritual space) and as tourist destinations (public space and public education).

Buddhism and Multiculturalism: This theme will address a wide range of issues concerning religious diversity, ethnicity, sexual orientation/identity, social minority and interfaith dialogue.

Buddhism and Social Works: The necessity is to bring forth Buddhism as a practical and applicable foundation for solving social problems, and it should not only remain at a philosophical level. This theme expects understanding on how social works inspired by Buddhist values offer solution to different problems occurring in society.

Buddhist Education as Transformative learning: Throughout the history of Buddhism, education has been indicated as one of the main engines for transformation and revivalism of Buddhism. Thus this section seeks to understand how Buddhist education should be designed in such a way that it will have the capacity to take part in solving the contemporary problems in society.


Scholars and practitioners interested in presenting paper should submit an abstract (maximum 200 words) in Times New Roman and in 1.5 line-spacing, a short biography (maximum 100 words) and a single-page CV to The abstract should clarify the substantive issues, which your paper intends to address and be firmly grounded in your own research. Successful applications will be notified by July 15, 2016. Those selected will have to submit full length papers, of around 4,000-5,000 words by August 30, 2016. Applicants are welcome to submit two abstracts in different panels, but only one paper will be presented.

Funding will be available for selected presenters and covers international airfare by the most economical means and accommodation for the duration of the conference.

Direct inquiries to: Yulianti. Email address:


Jl. Semarang-Solo, Km. 60, Ampel-Boyolali,
Central Java, Indonesia
/ E-mail: