Presentation Title

Fighting in the Name of Shaolin and Jedi

Presenter Information

Micah DunwoodyFollow

Advisor Information

John Lyden

Location

MBSC Dodge Room 302A - U

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-3-2022 12:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2022 1:45 PM

Abstract

This paper analyzes the Shaolin monks and Jedi Knights to look at their similarities, violent actions, and their impact on individuals. The Jedi Knights of the Star Wars franchise bear a strong resemblance to Shaolin monks. First, both orders of warriors believe in being unattached from the world to achieve tranquility. Second, Jedi and Shaolin, throughout their franchise and myths respectively, are always displayed as being more powerful and wise than god-like beings. Third, they have histories of participating in military violence, which may seem contradictory to their nature as peacekeepers and monks, but they both have justified their actions by their ethical codes. Buddhism has a long history of texts and myths that justify violence. Shaolin monks share motifs with other Buddhist stories about violence and violent actions of Buddhists around the world. The actions of both groups have inspired other people to engage in fighting. The Shaolin monks were connected to the origin stories of secret societies in China like Tiandihui (Heaven and Earth Society) and the White Lotus who practiced martial styles. The Jedi, although they are only fictional characters, have inspired some Navy Seals to call themselves Jedi for achieving peace.

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Mar 4th, 12:30 PM Mar 4th, 1:45 PM

Fighting in the Name of Shaolin and Jedi

MBSC Dodge Room 302A - U

This paper analyzes the Shaolin monks and Jedi Knights to look at their similarities, violent actions, and their impact on individuals. The Jedi Knights of the Star Wars franchise bear a strong resemblance to Shaolin monks. First, both orders of warriors believe in being unattached from the world to achieve tranquility. Second, Jedi and Shaolin, throughout their franchise and myths respectively, are always displayed as being more powerful and wise than god-like beings. Third, they have histories of participating in military violence, which may seem contradictory to their nature as peacekeepers and monks, but they both have justified their actions by their ethical codes. Buddhism has a long history of texts and myths that justify violence. Shaolin monks share motifs with other Buddhist stories about violence and violent actions of Buddhists around the world. The actions of both groups have inspired other people to engage in fighting. The Shaolin monks were connected to the origin stories of secret societies in China like Tiandihui (Heaven and Earth Society) and the White Lotus who practiced martial styles. The Jedi, although they are only fictional characters, have inspired some Navy Seals to call themselves Jedi for achieving peace.