[Buddha-l] Bourgeois Buddhism

Randall Jones randall.bernard.jones at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 15:05:33 MDT 2011


I was using "debate" rather informally. It was more like 
theologically uninformed talk, really. And from this side of 
childhood looking back it seems quite ridiculous. The question, of 
course, was whether Catholics were real Christians - and it was a 
community of Southern Baptists (those in my circle) who were asking 
and answering this question.

Today I have no doubt Catholic and Southern Baptist both fall within 
the reference of "Christian." I might also add that I have no more 
doubt that, for example, Jodo Shinshu falls within the reference of 
"Buddhist" (even "real Buddhism") than I have doubt that Catholic 
falls within the reference of "Christian." Or Southern Baptist. Both 
questions strike me as equally ridiculous.

I suppose I'm rather inclined to think anybody/group that says 
they're Buddhist, are; anybody/group that says they're Christian, 
are. Though my personal understanding, at this particular time, will 
be quite different from many other Buddhists or Christians.

 > Exactly. This is how theology or any other discipline evolves: 
through debate.

Which makes any claim that an initial or original teaching, teacher, 
document, etc., represents a more "real" understanding rather 
dubious, doesn't it? Unless, of course, one views the course of such 
evolution of understanding as moving from light to darkness, and 
certainly some do. But if that is the case, there's little point to 
the "debate."

Even this one. Any at all.


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