The Buddhist tradition, like all religious systems, has been challenged to provide answers for the problems of society. Part of this pressure on Buddhism to deal with social and economic issues has come from Europe and North America, where these matters have been a major focus of attention in philosophy as well as political theory. This paper cannot provide answers to the many questions that arise from this contact of cultures. It is only an attempt to indicate the nature of some of these problems and to help define the important tasks of a scholarly community that wishes to deal with Humanistic Buddhism. The issues raised by those who are researching the field of comparative ethics should be given consideration as the focus for future conferences such as this one.