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Ethics and Community

Community Organization

Buddhist institutions are deeply involved in local communities in a variety of ways, both religious and secular. They provide rituals, festivals, places to worship, and practical benefits.


All Buddhist clergy wear distinctive robes and devote their lives to religious practice and service. The organizational structures of leadership are different, depending on region, size, and sect.

Principles of Moral Thought and Action

Buddhist principles of moral thought and action include karma, merit, and the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path provides guidelines for behavior that will lead to spiritual growth.

Vision for Society

The social vision of Buddhism is to unite the entire cosmos and all beings within it into one harmonious whole.

Gender and Sexuality

Attitudes regarding sexual misconduct, abortion, and divorce are often governed by societal norms rather than religious regulation. The issue of gender equality has been of greater interest in recent Buddhist scholarship.