Columns from the Toronto Star
Since early in 1999 I have been writing a regular column
in the Toronto Star. This is part of a series that rotates among writers
of six different religions. Our assignment is to comment on social and
political trends from the perspective of our religion.
I am posting my articles here because I receive
occasional requests for copies. Please note that these articles may not be
exactly as they appeared in the Star; in some cases the paper edited them
somewhat for length or other reasons.
NOTE Dates of publication are
approximate only, reconstructed from my email archives.
Table of Contents for Ajahn Punnadhammo's Columns
- Abortion [AUG 99] Moral aspects of
- Anger[DEC 00] Dealing with road rage
and other modern ills.
- Animal Rights[MAY 03] Animal rights
in reference to the new federal anti-cruelty legislation.
- Aung San Suu Kyi[OCT 03] A Modern
Heroine. The Burmese dissident is under house arrest again.
- Being Peace[OCT 05] Thich Nhat
Hanh's peace walk in Los Angeles and the Dharma of protest.
- Biotechnology [JAN 00]
Ethical questions raised by the new biological science.
- Biotech Again [MAY 02]
Comments on the Canadian government guidelines on reproductive
- Brain Science and Meditation[JUN 03]
A look at the new studies in neuroscience and meditation.
- Buddhist Economics[DEC 03]
Thoughts on Buddhist Economics vs. the cult of efficiency.
- Buddhist Pacifism [Sep 06] A
defence of the Buddhist teachings on war and peace.
- China and Religious Freedom [MAY
06] The lack of religious freedom in China.
- Comparative Cosmology [AUG 04]
A comparison of oriental and occidental cosmology and their pychological
- Compassion [APR 99] Social and
political aspects of the Buddhist virtue of compassion.
- Crime and Punishment [JAN 99]
Reflections on the justice system.
- The Culture of Death[MAR 04] Why we
seem to devalue life.
- The Dalai Lama [AUG 02] The
shabby treatment of His Holiness by the international community.
- Dalai Lama in New York [SEP 99]
A good news column about His Holiness' visit to New York in 1999.
- Dresden Anniversary [MAR 05]
When the "good guys" do bad things.
- Easter Island [JUL 05] Saving
the world through contentment, using the counter-example of Easter
- Environmentalism [FEB 99]
Reflections on the ecological crisis and reactions to it.
- Euthanasia [JUL 02] Is "Mercy
- Evil [JAN 02] Does the
concept of "Evil" make sense?.
- The Federal Election I [OCT
00] Thoughts on politics written before the Nov. 2000 Canadian
- The Federal Election II [NOV 00]
Further reflections on politics written immediately after the election
- Fundamentalism [NOV 04] When
religion claims state sanction.
- Globalization [MAY 00] A
column written in 2000 after the Battle of Seattle.
- Global Warming [AUG 01]
Climate change causes and cures.
- Good Government [JUN 05] What is
the Buddhist conception of good governance? Inspired by a particularly
bad spell in Canada's political life.
- Gun Violence [Jan 06] The
social roots of gun violence in our cities, written after the Boxing Day
shooting in Toronto of 2005.
- Homelessness [MAR 02] Karma,
compassion and homelessness.
- Homelessness Again [APR 02]
An answer to some criticism of the previous columns.
- Insecurity [DEC 02] A
Buddhist look at the issue of security in the early 21st century.
- Intelligent Design [DEC 05]
Buddhist discussion of creationism and evolution.
- Iraq - Rice for Peace [FEB 03]
War and the search for peace with regard to Iraq.
- Iraq - Shock and Awe [MAR 03] A
Buddhist looks at the American campaign of conquest.
- Israel's Lebanon War [Aug 06]
Israel's misadventure in Lebaon.
- Karma [SEP 04] The Buddhist
concept of karma and its application to ethics.
- Karma and Katrina [SEP 05] How the
doctrine of karma might apply in cases of natural disasters like
- Kosovo [MAY 99] Critique of
the Yugoslav bombing in 1999.
- Meditation[FEB 04] When
meditation becomes trendy, is it still Dhamma?
- Millennium Madness [MAR 99] Some
comments made in 1999 about the coming millennium and Buddhist
- Monasticism [OCT 01] The
continuing relevance of monasticism in today's world.
- Monastic Conference [DEC 02]
The 8th Annual Buddhist Monastic Conference, held in Nov, 2002.
- Morality and Electoral Politics
[DEC 04] Consideration of the morality factor in the US Election of
- Mohammed Cartoons [Feb 06]
Those infamous Danish cartoons and the trouble they caused.
- No Blood for Oil [OCT 02]
Buddhist critique of the Iraq War, written in the fall of 2002.
- Old Age and Death [MAY 01]
Buddhist thoughts on ageing and mortality.
- Panchen Lama [DEC 99] China's
crime against a small child and a whole nation.
- Peace and War [DEC 01] The
nature of war and the relevance of pacifism. Written during the Afghan
campaign of late 2001.
- Peace and War Revisited [MAY
04] The problem of war and peace considered one year after the American
invasion of Iraq.
- Politics of Fear [JUN 06] How
politicians use fear to manipulate the public.
- Same Sex Marriage [FEB 05]
The issue of homosexual marriage from a Buddhist perspective.
- Scarcity, Conservation and Waste [JUN
01] How we can gain respect for the planet and its dwindling resources.
- Science, Religion and the Mind
[MAR 00] Philosophical reflections on the problem of mind in the digital
- Seal Hunt [APR 06] The
Newfoundland seal hunt and animal rights generally.
- Spring Bear Hunt[JAN 04] The Spring
Bear Hunt in Ontario.
- Sri Lankan Monks and Politics[APR
04] Looking at the phenomenon of monk-politicians in Sri Lanka.
- Stem Cells[APR 01] Just one of
the very difficult moral issues raised by the new biology.
- Stress[AUG 03] Coping with the
stress of modern life by doing nothing.
- Terrorism Strikes New York
[SEP 01] Some thoughts on the terrible events of Sept 11, 2001.
- Terry Schiavo [APR 05] The case
of Terry Schiavo and the Culture of Life.
- Thanksgiving [OCT 99]
Reflections on the meaning of Thanksgiving day.
- Tolerance [NOV 99]The
importance and meaning of religious toleration.
- Touching the Earth [NOV 00] Our
relationship with the planet according to Buddhadhamma
- True Blessings[DEC 00] What are
the real values in life?
- Truthfulness[JUL 04] The importance
- Youth Violence [JUL 99] From
where does the tragedy of children shooting children arise?
- Women's Ordination [AUG 00] The
issue of female ordination in Buddhist monasticism.