Without Buddha I Could Not Be Christian

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Re: Without Buddha I Could Not Be Christian

Postby Tewi » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:41 am

About 1/3 of white American Buddhists are Jewish. For them dual identification is all but unavoidable, and by now most Jews and Buddhists (except the most conservative) seem to accept this. Is it so strange, then, for gentiles to dual identify as well? After all, you can't just renounce your family, culture, or upbringing. Of course there are points which are difficult to reconcile (just as there are within each tradition), and again, conservative voices will predicably oppose everything. I would say that the goal is not a "pure" religious practice, but an authentic, practical one--which admittedly may prove challenging for the group identities of other people, but that's globalization for you.
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Re: Without Buddha I Could Not Be Christian

Postby Greg » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:39 pm

Tewi wrote:About 1/3 of white American Buddhists are Jewish. For them dual identification is all but unavoidable, and by now most Jews and Buddhists (except the most conservative) seem to accept this. Is it so strange, then, for gentiles to dual identify as well? After all, you can't just renounce your family, culture, or upbringing. Of course there are points which are difficult to reconcile (just as there are within each tradition), and again, conservative voices will predicably oppose everything. I would say that the goal is not a "pure" religious practice, but an authentic, practical one--which admittedly may prove challenging for the group identities of other people, but that's globalization for you.


Being Jewish is as much an ethnicity as it is a religion. You can be Jewish and Buddhist in the same way that you can be Italian-American and Buddhist.

Sure, you can take a cafeteria approach to Christianity and Buddhism and call yourself both things. But Christianity revolves around an omnipotent, personal, creator god and Buddhism says believing in such a thing is a harmful wrong view, so there is a big conflict there.
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Re: Without Buddha I Could Not Be Christian

Postby mint » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:34 pm

Tewi wrote:About 1/3 of white American Buddhists are Jewish. For them dual identification is all but unavoidable, and by now most Jews and Buddhists (except the most conservative) seem to accept this. Is it so strange, then, for gentiles to dual identify as well? After all, you can't just renounce your family, culture, or upbringing. Of course there are points which are difficult to reconcile (just as there are within each tradition), and again, conservative voices will predicably oppose everything. I would say that the goal is not a "pure" religious practice, but an authentic, practical one--which admittedly may prove challenging for the group identities of other people, but that's globalization for you.


Of course, the ultimate point of Knitter's book is that it is the socio-cultural and linguistic framework of Buddhism (but not the dogmatism of Buddhism itself) that has helped clarify some fundamental theological points found in Christianity, not that one should label oneself as anything. Labels only obscure the truth. As Knitter himself says, Buddhism provides a new language to better illustrate the finger pointing to the moon, which, since the Second Vatican Council, best integrates the true catholicity of the church.
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