[Buddha-l] What's wrong with a little Dharma?

Sally McAra s.mcara at auckland.ac.nz
Tue Aug 30 20:19:14 MDT 2005

Richard P. Hayes wrote:

>You might enjoy reading the presentation on Buddhism at

While on this topic ...
See http://www.areopagos.org/lausanne/ This includes articles on how to 
go about missionising to western buddhists, neo-pagans, new-agers, etc..

See, for example the article by Hugh Kemp: "Towards a missional strategy 
for Western Buddhists: a sort of Case Study (or “what I’ve learned so 
far by talking to Western Buddhists”)".

Here is an excerpt:

"I have discovered that Western Buddhists do not appreciate what I call 
the 'Cerebral Download' method of evangelism. They are often in 
rebellion to some degree from cerebral style religion, whether it was 
church, or other strong family tradition (like boarding school). For me 
(or anyone) to then proclaim theological truth to them, or challenge 
them to some sort of commitment usually causes an adverse (and sometimes 
hostile) response.
"Modernistic apologetics, with its appeal to logic, proofs, and even 
common sense, therefore has proven unfruitful. It often simply draws a 
complete blank - the language of apologetics is so utterly alien to a 
Western Buddhist they simply have no idea what you're talking about (or 
alternatively, they know only too well what you’re talking about, having 
rebelled from that intellectual paradigm, and rejected it).
"It follows then that any notion of individualism, in its 
Judeo-Christian / Englightenment sense, in terms of the individual's 
hallowed centre in consumer society, or in notions of Christian 
salvation is anathema. I qualify what I'm saying as Buddhism per se is 
highly individualistic, but Western Buddhists don't necessarily frame 
themselves as such in the first instance. "

Sally McAra

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