Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby futerko » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:15 am

How about this one for starters? Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protes ... Capitalism
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby muni » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:16 am

shaunc wrote:HHDL has referred to Jesus Christ as a boddhisatva. That's good enough for me. If a person does good or bad maybe it's best for everyone if we judge them by that action & not on their religious label.


This is a nice note! It erases the dividing lines in suffering righteness its' real religion-nonreligion.

Lets look in own mind, in peace are no obstacles.

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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby tobes » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

futerko wrote:How about this one for starters? Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protes ... Capitalism


Yes, I think that's a good starting point - the themes of modernity, secularism, capitalism, rationalism, science - and the various epistemic frameworks related to these phenomena - constantly arise on this forum.

Westerners come into Buddhism out of that extraordinarily complex historical-social-political-conceptual horizon - and we can't really understand what we're doing as Buddhists, why we have come to Buddhism, what we are trying to get from it (and maybe, what we're trying to get away from) - without paying due heed to that horizon.

That horizon is so deeply shaped by Christianity, in so many ways.

So how to open to this positively? Well, by just being open and inquisitive. To the history, to the theology, to the philosophy, to the social practices, to the contemporary debates.

This is an ambitious but good start:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Christi ... 0141021896


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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby jeeprs » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:27 am

'History of ideas' is a huge subject. Fascinating, but huge. I think a better approach is to try and find the cross-cultural 'wisdom tradition' teachings which incorporate perspectives from the different faiths. For instance, Shambhala's books on various aspects of Christian meditation. You can find plenty of common ground between Buddhism and Christian teaching, provided you know where to look and how to interpret.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby muni » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:15 pm

jeeprs wrote:'History of ideas' .


:smile:
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby oushi » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:21 pm

Common ground is needed only in the sphere of religion, to prevent conflicts. In the area of spirituality, those paths may remain totally independent, even contradicting each other. "Marriage" in this area is redundant and futile, as those are only paths and there is no truth that needs to be composed out of them. Person that is focused on the goal does not waste time for comparison and judgement, as it is like talking about silence.
Looking for superiority of the goal of one or the other method is a clear sight of ignorance sewing samsara.

I think a better approach is to try and find the cross-cultural 'wisdom tradition' teachings which incorporate perspectives from the different faiths.

Some eat rice with sticks, some with forks, other with spoons, or hands. Want to incorporate them all into one device?
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Jikan » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:07 pm

tobes wrote:I have generally found Christianity the most foreign/alien system, and basically had an attitude of "don't care/not interested/not relevant."

But then I realised, you can't actually understand 'the west' without understanding Christianity; and if you can't understand 'the west' - not only its history, but also the history of its ideas - then you can't really hope to understand your engagement with Buddhism. That is, if you are a westerner.

I know that sounds like a long bow, but I think it is true. I am happy to be pressed on that a little if anyone thinks it's a bit of loose claim - and I'll try and qualify it more.

Anyway the point was to acknowledge, like the OP, that I have had a resistance/ refusal to understanding Christianity - at the detriment of my understanding per se, and particularly, in my understanding of Buddhism.

Pursuing a more open-minded relationship may not lead to equivalences, but it can only be fruitful in other ways.

:anjali:


:good:

One side-effect of this kind of inquiry: I've found I have a better relationship with texts like Paradise Lost or The Divine Comedy than many of my friends who belong to specific churches and therefore have particular theological positions. I just read and appreciate because I don't have a pony in any of these races.

Back to the OP: I find it more important to find constructive and respectful ways to relate to Christians as neighbors and friends than to worry too much about Christianity as a body of doctrine or as a set of institutions.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Ayu » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:04 pm

Two days ago a page in the book "Karma" from Geshe Pema Samten struck my heart directly.
It was about the sentiment of each religion to be the best. "My religion is more holy, better and more important than all the other religions..." This leads to critisism, this leads to strife and even to wars... The cause is in the selfishness.

When i reflected this and looked at my feelings of refusal and how this depends on my identification with a self... I found out that i feel personally hurt by chistianity. Reading about the stakes in the Middle Ages i felt like i have been there. I feel personally concerned about what happened that times. How can a religion be helpful, if it yields such horrible fruits? I know, these thoughts are not reasonable, because these times are gone now. But it is a strong personel feeling. And that makes it so very difficult for me to believe in "Christian Charity". :thinking:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby shaunc » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:41 am

Ayu wrote:Two days ago a page in the book "Karma" from Geshe Pema Samten struck my heart directly.
It was about the sentiment of each religion to be the best. "My religion is more holy, better and more important than all the other religions..." This leads to critisism, this leads to strife and even to wars... The cause is in the selfishness.

When i reflected this and looked at my feelings of refusal and how this depends on my identification with a self... I found out that i feel personally hurt by chistianity. Reading about the stakes in the Middle Ages i felt like i have been there. I feel personally concerned about what happened that times. How can a religion be helpful, if it yields such horrible fruits? I know, these thoughts are not reasonable, because these times are gone now. But it is a strong personel feeling. And that makes it so very difficult for me to believe in "Christian Charity". :thinking:


Hi Ayu. All religions have some skeletons in the closet. Brutality, theft & dishonesty, sexual abuse. The problem all religions have (buddhism included) is that they have fallible men & women as members lay & ordained. I follow buddhism not because I believe it to be squeaky clean, or the best religion of them all. I follow it because I believe it to be the best religion for me. In my day to day life I never feel a need (or rarely) to be talking about religion with people, I just go about my business trying to do the best that I can. Good-luck with it all.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Ayu » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:58 am

Yes, shaunc, thank you. You're absolutely right.
For me, it is just a matter of being personally hurt and how to handle this. To start a war "Good Buddhism against bad Christinaity" would fulfill no sense.
For me this discussion was very helpful now, because i could look at my own defects instead of pointing my finger to the deficiency of others.
:namaste:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:41 pm

shaunc wrote:All religions have some skeletons in the closet. Brutality, theft & dishonesty, sexual abuse. The problem all religions have (buddhism included) is that they have fallible men & women as members lay & ordained.


Not totally unlike something Gandhi said: “I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them... "
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:55 am

Talking about Christianity seems to be an obsession on Buddhist boards... :tongue:

Perhaps to be fair we should start on other religions. Let's all pile on Islam. Ok, 1, 2, 3 go.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby jeeprs » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:08 am

It's probably a separate topic, but I was just reading the Tricycle article on persecution of Muslim refugees in Burma by Theravadins. It is a very unedifying spectacle and certainly overturns notions of Buddhists being necessarily peaceful or tolerant of other religious identites.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Ayu » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:01 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Talking about Christianity seems to be an obsession on Buddhist boards... :tongue:
....

When you have a christian sitting on your neck, trying to tell you what's right and wrong, maybe you would like to talk about such a topic one day. :tongue:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:11 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Talking about Christianity seems to be an obsession on Buddhist boards... :tongue:

Perhaps to be fair we should start on other religions. Let's all pile on Islam. Ok, 1, 2, 3 go.

Spot on. A sign of collective maturity will be when that obsession is no longer the case.
But that is far off.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby muni » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:46 am

Ayu wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Talking about Christianity seems to be an obsession on Buddhist boards... :tongue:
....

When you have a christian sitting on your neck, trying to tell you what's right and wrong, maybe you would like to talk about such a topic one day. :tongue:


The interess for Buddhism must come from own being (own karmic destiny), I suppose. Comparing discussions I replace by general interesses like altruism or so, depend on the 'intertalk'. Debates are only fruitful when mutual insight increases, therefore not by comparing views we don't like to let go. :jedi: :tongue:
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:02 pm

Ayu wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Talking about Christianity seems to be an obsession on Buddhist boards... :tongue:
....

When you have a christian sitting on your neck, trying to tell you what's right and wrong, maybe you would like to talk about such a topic one day. :tongue:

They were literally sitting on your neck? Oh dear, well no wonder you want to discuss. :tongue:
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:04 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Talking about Christianity seems to be an obsession on Buddhist boards... :tongue:

Perhaps to be fair we should start on other religions. Let's all pile on Islam. Ok, 1, 2, 3 go.


Can I safely assume, however, that there is no mention of a "zombie on a stick" (someone's exact words) or marrying 9-year old girls in those discussions? :jawdrop: There is a Hindu board I fled (the name I will not mention so as not to be openly bashing another site), where the mere mention of the J-, C- or M-words (Jesus, Christianity, Mohammed) will send them into a frenzy of foaming at the mouth, shrieking, wailing and name-calling, in a most adharmic way. :tantrum: It's not pretty.
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Ayu » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:56 pm

:smile: In German Forums (Buddhistic) you can easily cause a stir with the topic "Is there a free will?"
:shrug: I don't know why, but the people get quite excited about this.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby oushi » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:29 am

Ayu wrote::smile: In German Forums (Buddhistic) you can easily cause a stir with the topic "Is there a free will?"
:shrug: I don't know why, but the people get quite excited about this.

Such a question will cause a stir in any community :smile: . I think that excitement is proportional to attachment. The problem with Christianity is largely cause by lack of honesty. People are afraid to admit that most of their beliefs is based of clinging to fantastic stories, and while defending it, they overlook the message. Here, on Buddhist forum, people are free from clinging to those stories, so there is a chance for open-minded approach. Still, there are many that feel hurt by Christianity, and will try to condemn it.
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