Review of ‘Why Buddhism is True’

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Here’s a nice review of Robert Wright’s Why Buddhism is True by Adam Frank.

I haven’t read the book yet, but judging from the review it seems to take a more self-conscious about the selective appropriation of Buddhist contemplative traditions in ‘the West’ than is often the case.

To his credit, Wright is more than cognizant that exploring just these aspects of Buddhism means he is filtering out quite a bit of its history. As he reminds his readers:

“Two of the most common Western conceptions of Buddhism — that it’s atheistic and that it revolves around meditation — are wrong; most Asian Buddhists do believe in gods, though not an omnipotent creator God, and don’t meditate.”

Wright also acknowledges that even within this “scientific” Buddhism he is interested in, there are also enormous differences between various philosophical schools of thought, many with 1,000-year histories.

 

 

About Jovan Maud

I’m a lecturer in the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany. Interests include: transnational religious networks, popular religion in Thailand, religious tourism and commodification, and digital anthropology.

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Global Ambedkar Buddhism | Global Buddhism Blog

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In a recent article, the Northwest Dharma Association reports on Lama Choyin Rangdrol, a Seattle-based African American lama in the Tibetan tradition, who was talking at the B.R. Ambedkar International Conference in Bangalore, India. In his talk, Rangdrol draws parallels between the experience of African Americans and so-called ‘untouchables’ in India.

Lama Rangdrol said participating in the conference was very powerful, because he saw so many parallels between the experience of African Americans and Indian people who fall outside the caste system, who traditionally were called untouchables. […]

“I’m a changed person. It changed me because I saw the passion and the compassion of the entire Earth coming to find out what’s going on,” Lama Rangdrol said of the conference experience. “It was a deep experience to witness the grand politic of India vie over who will address the tremendous suffering of caste, and how.”

The conference theme was a “Quest for equity—reclaiming social justice, revisiting Ambedkar” and attracted around 9,000 participants from around the world.

About Jovan Maud

I’m a lecturer in the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany. Interests include: transnational religious networks, popular religion in Thailand, religious tourism and commodification, and digital anthropology.

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