Buddhism in the Digital Age - Adapting tradition to modern challenges
Glorisun Global Buddhist Network

Buddhism in the Digital Age – Adapting tradition to modern challenges

The “Human Competition and Mutual Learning” forum, hosted by the University of Hong Kong’s Center for Studies, convened from August 9th to 12th, 2023, with approximately 120 scholars participating.

The forum comprised keynote speeches and three sub-forums, including one specifically addressing the intersection of and technology, titled “Buddhism and Technology: Modernization Challenges of in the Era of .”

This sub-forum explored various topics through seven thematic discussions and two simultaneous breakout sessions, delving into and calendars, physics and cosmology, , logic and mathematics, traditional crafts, , ethics, artificial intelligence, and the Buddhist perspective on virtual worlds.

In the discussion on astronomy and calendars, scholars examined scientific terminology in Buddhist , astronomical data in texts, and the integration of into .

They also explored how influenced and were influenced by different civilizations.

The physics and cosmology session analyzed ancient Buddhist texts’ reflections on physics, cosmology, and metallurgy, shedding light on early Buddhist understanding of these subjects and their practical applications.

In the domain of medicine, scholars studied medical in Buddhist scriptures, historical records of medicinal practices, and the role of Buddhism in shaping ethics and practices.

The discussion on logic and mathematics examined Buddhist contributions to logical reasoning and mathematical principles, highlighting the intersection of Buddhist with modern mathematical concepts.

Regarding traditional crafts, scholars investigated how Buddhism influenced craftsmanship, , and artistic expression, emphasizing the integration of Buddhist principles into traditional practices.

In the meditation session, scholars explored the neurological and behavioral effects of practices, considering their potential applications in addressing contemporary challenges.

Ethical considerations in the age of artificial intelligence were deliberated upon, with scholars proposing ethical frameworks rooted in to guide technological development and usage.

Finally, discussions on digital Buddhism examined the role of technology in facilitating Buddhist practices, virtual pilgrimage experiences, and the anthropological implications of online meditation communities.

These discussions underscored the complex interplay between Buddhism and modern technology, highlighting both the challenges and opportunities for the integration of traditional practices in the digital age.



  1. Buddhism has made significant contributions to logical reasoning and mathematical principles through its emphasis on rigorous analysis and inquiry.

    In terms of logical reasoning, Buddhist scholars such as Dignāga and Dharmakīrti developed sophisticated systems of logic, known as Buddhist epistemology, which laid the groundwork for formal reasoning and debate techniques.

    They introduced concepts like inference and perception theory, which became foundational in Indian philosophy and influenced later developments in logic.

    In mathematics, Buddhist monks played a crucial role in preserving and transmitting mathematical knowledge across Asia.

    They contributed to fields such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, particularly in contexts related to calendrical calculations, astronomy, and architectural design.

    For instance, the use of mathematical principles in the construction of stupas and temples showcases their practical applications.

    Additionally, Buddhist texts contain mathematical puzzles and numerical metaphors, reflecting an appreciation for mathematical concepts and their symbolic significance in spiritual teachings.

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