Skip to content

Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Politics, Religion, and Engaged Buddhism

With the advent of “engaged Buddhism”, Buddhism in the modern world has taken an emphasis on political involvement. We will look at some of the history of religious involvement in politics, with a particular focus on Buddhism, and ask how Buddhism can work best in a secular context. Check out my new Patreon page!

Read More

Buddhists of Other Religions

Can you be a Buddhist and a Christian, a Jew, or member of some other religion? We will take a look at that question and investigate how such cross-fertilization works with a secular approach to Buddhist belief and practice.

Read More

Why Buddhism Isn't a Religion

We’ll look at three ways that Buddhism isn’t a religion, focusing on early Buddhism in particular. Of course, Buddhism has religious aspects. However it also can be seen as something entirely non-religious, more in the vein of a school of philosophy.

Read More

The Buddha and Blasphemy

With the recent tragedy at Charlie Hebdo blasphemous satire is in the news, and many ask if it should be allowed. There are many different degrees of “allow”, and most discussions on the matter, particularly the more virulent, trade off of these different degrees. First there is the plain issue of legality: should the state allow satire?…

Read More

Religion and Dukkha

When atheists speak up about the harmful effects of religion, we’re often asked, in effect, what our problem is. How are we so sure we’re right? What about our own dogmatic beliefs? Isn’t it enough for us to reject religion, without actively opposing it? Why are we, as even Stephen Batchelor says, so “humorless’? These charges are even more pointed for those of us who are secular dharma practitioners. When we inveigh against the religious trappings of Buddhist traditions, we are accused of disrespecting the tradition and its teachers, indeed even of threatening the survival of the dharma in the West (see the interview with Tim Olmsted in the Fall 2010 Tricycle for a good example of this). Why don’t we just relinquish this fixed view and be more open-minded?

Read More

A Secular Religion?

This is the second  installment in which I discuss ideas presented by Stephen Bachelor in a series of dharma talks in late 2010. You can hear them at dharmaseed.org. The debate about whether Buddhism is a religion or not is a classic case of the futility of dispute. Much heat is generated, little light is…

Read More