Call For Papers, Presentations and Participation


6th International Lay Buddhist Forum

“Lay Buddhism in the Modern World”

30 October – 4 November 2012

University of Malaga and International Institute for Tibetan and Asian Studies (ITAS),

Karma Guen (Velez-Malaga), Spain



Dear Buddhist friends and scholars of Buddhism,

We are delighted to announce the 6th International Lay Buddhist Forum to be held in Malaga, Spain, 30 October – 4 November 2012.

More Information about the ILBF and membership is at


The 2012 ILB Forum is hosted by the lay Buddhist retreat centre Karma Guen, Velez-Malaga, Spain, and its academic outlet, the International Institute of Tibetan and Asian Studies (ITAS) (, in collaboration with the University of Malaga.

Organiser-in-chief for the ILBF Steering Committee:

Dr. Burkhard Scherer (Canterbury Christ Church University/ITAS)


The theme of this year’s forum is “Lay Buddhism in the Modern World”


Participants are welcomed from all Buddhist groups and from academia. We particularly encourage the participation of (lay) Buddhist teachers; community leaders; and youth representatives. All accepted participants will engage actively with the forum’s programme and contribute a paper and/or a poster presentation. Approximately thirty full papers will be selected to form the conference part of the forum at the University of Malaga. All other presentations, academic and non-academic alike, will be given as posters as part of a “Lay Buddhist Exhibition: Crossing the divides” to be held at the Lay Buddhist Retreat Centre Karma Guen, Velez-Malaga.

Delegates from lay Buddhist organisations who wish to participate in the forum’s programme without giving individual presentations, will be expected to contribute material to a collective poster about their organisation(s) that will form part of a poster exhibition.


Academic participants are asked to submit papers to professionally scholarly standards.

Peer-review applies for the academic section of the Forum’s conference proceedings.

Please fill in the application form at

In case of further questions email:

Abstract deadline:  1 May 2012.

Full paper/poster deadline: 15 September 2012.

Acceptance of participation is conditional until full papers/posters are received.


Call for Participation (Lay Buddhists, non-academic)

The 6th ILBF has the theme “Lay Buddhism in the Modern World”.

What does living as a Buddhist in the world today mean for you? How do you negotiate the many different demands of a busy ‘modern’ life with practising Buddhism? How has your own lay Buddhist practice and identity and/or your Buddhist organisation adapted to the challenges that contemporary global and local politics, modern science and/or changing societies pose? How can lay Buddhism contribute to social justice and peace?


Call for Papers (Academics)

During recent centuries, modernity as a ‘qualitative category’ (Adorno) has been favouring, challenging, and transforming Buddhism(s). Intersecting with pre-modern and post-modern modes of being-in-time, modern Buddhisms have emerged in traditionally Buddhist spaces and in new cultural contexts. In traditionally Buddhist countries, Buddhist modernity expresses itself in juncture with the emergence of (post)colonialist subjectivity, for example, in lay mass meditation movements; charismatic reform movements; Socially Engaged Buddhism(s); nun and female monastic revival. In the “West”, Buddhism was discovered and reinvented as spiritual science and spiritual psychotherapy, while modernity sparked also the commodification of Buddhist practices within the late-capitalist, neo-liberal global village.  ‘Global Buddhisms’ are ever adapting to the challenges and opportunities of what Z. Bauman has termed ‘liquid modernity’.    

For the 6th International Lay Buddhist Forum, we invite presenters from both Buddhist and academic communities to discuss modern challenges and opportunities for global Lay Buddhism.

Papers should address the Forum’s theme, “Lay Buddhism in the Modern World”. In particular we invite contributions regarding

-          Lay Buddhism, Science and Psychotherapy

-          Lay Buddhism and Globalisation

-          Lay Buddhism and Reform in Buddhist Asia


Accepted participants will be provided with free accommodation, board and conference transportation, sponsored by the Lay Buddhist Retreat Centre, Karma Guen ( Flights to/from Malaga (AGP) need to be covered by the participants themselves.


There is a small amount of travel stipends of not more than 500 Euro for young and emerging Buddhist leaders and scholars from outside Europe. Applicants for these stipends are expected to find matching funding from their Buddhist or academic home organisations.

If you would like to be considered for a travel stipend please include a 200 word reflection about yourself with your application form and paper abstract and provide information about matching funding sought from your own organisation. 

Preliminary Programme

30 Oct: Arrival

31 Oct-2 Nov: Conference

3-4 Nov: Temple stay and sightseeing

About the ILBF

The International Lay Buddhist Forum is an independent lay Buddhist movement that is all-inclusive in membership and outlook. Any lay or ordained individuals or members of lay or monastic organizations who are supportive of lay Buddhist development and interaction of lay and monastic members are welcome. The movement aims to represent and further the interests and roles of lay Buddhists in the development of Buddhism in modern day world.


 The International Lay Buddhist Forum began as a lay Buddhist movement at the first world Lay Buddhist Forum, held in Seoul in 2007. The forum was hosted by the Chongji Order with the support of the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders. Similar events have been held annually since then. The annual event has been attended by lay Buddhists and monastics from various countries in Asia, Europe and North America. At each forum, participants voiced the need for the existence of a lay organisation to serve its interests, and play a role in a healthy development of Buddhism in the modern world. This voice became stronger, louder and clearer at each succeeding Lay Buddhist Forum. This gave rise to the idea of establishing an international lay Buddhist movement. Because of its international participation and global outlook, it needed to form an international structure. A temporary committee was set up in 2010 to help formalise the organisation and plan the growth and development of this international lay Buddhist movement. This committee met to adopt a constitution and elect officers on October 26, 2011. With the constitution adopted, a proper name for the organisation and a formal Steering Committee were established on the same day. The organisation is formally named the International Lay Buddhist Forum, or ILBF in short.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee of ILBF consists of six persons:

Chairperson: Dr. Jong-in Kim (South Korea); Vice Chairperson: Dr. Sue-Lian Bong (Malaysia); Secretary-Treasurer : Dr. Gene Reeves (Japan); Members: Dr. Franz Gschwind (Germany), Dr Christie Y-L Chang (Taiwan), Dr. Burkhard Scherer (UK); Honorary Chairperson: Dr. Hwaling Lee (South Korea)

Guiding Philosophy of ILBF

ILBF is a wholly independent lay Buddhist movement, representing the interests and roles of lay Buddhists and lay Buddhists only, not the lineages or traditions or orders or organisations of the members.

 While ILBF membership may include members from various Buddhist organisations, and its activities may be hosted and/or supported by particular organisations or individuals, ILBF is independent of them and does not represent their teachings or values.

 Previous Forums

 The first five Lay Buddhist Forums were held in Seoul, South Korea hosted by the Chongji Buddhist Order with support from the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders and the government of South Korea.

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Comment by Tashi Zangmo on July 7, 2012 at 10:05am

I would like to participate the ILBF 2012 in Malaga too and if I am not too late to submit a paper, I will do that soon. I will the committee will consider my participation. Coming from a Buddhist nation of Bhutan, I feel I will have so much to contribute and share at the forum. Thanks to all for making this kind of a forum possible.

Comment by Barawakumbuke wimalathissa on June 21, 2012 at 4:05pm

Dear burkhard, i would like to be participation International Lay Buddhist Forum 2012 in Malaga, Spain.


Comment by Burkhard Scherer on April 24, 2012 at 8:06pm

Dear Joop,

Your comment and questions are a bit premature since we have to wait till we have received all applications.

We are a small team of volunteers who do this on top of busy day jobs so patience is appreciated. More information will be released in due time.

You are quite new to this forum and your thoughts are of course welcome; however, you can trust that there are good reasons for the way we have arranged this so that academics and practitioners, lay and monastics all can benefit from the forum and the generosity of the hosts.

Kind regards, Burkhard 

Comment by Joop Romeijn on April 24, 2012 at 7:41pm

Question about the results of the Call for papers and presentation in Malaga


Dear Burkhard Scherer and other Buddhist friends/ scholars of Buddhism,

In februari this year you pronounced a "Call for papers, presentations and participation during the 6th International Lay Buddhist Forum, from 30 October – 4 November 2012 in Malaga, Spain.

The abstract deadline is 1 May 2012. That is nearly reached.

Maybe some members who postponed it, can still send an abstract !

I’m curious about the results:

How many lay Buddhists have send an abstract about how they see lay Buddhism in the modern world, and what are the themes?

How many academics did send an abstract and what were the themes?

And the category in between: how many lay Buddhist being (amateur) buddhologist – like me -  have send an abstract?

I was not so happy about the way the difference between lay Buddhists and academics as participants in the Malaga-meeting was made.

After we have a new way of thinking about the relation between ordained and lay Buddhists it’s not wise to make a strict new distinguishment in our Forum.



Joop Romeijn


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