By Ninian Smart
This publication examines the kin among Buddhism and Christianity within the context
of our rising global civilization. It illuminates specifically the way in which Theravada
Buddhism doesn't healthy common theories approximately faith and doesn't match
Christian (or Muslim or Jewish or Hindu) trust in God. The assumptions of the
two faiths are very assorted certainly. How then will we conceive them as referring to?
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Extra resources for Buddhism and Christianity: Rivals and Allies
The Absolute as phenomenalised in Sakyamuni is the object of homage . Nichiren, however, was not as complaisant as other Buddhists: he fiercely attacked other denominations with a fiery and nationalistic evangelicalism. His movement, adapted to modern conditions, is a major contemporary force in Japanese religious life and politics, through the Soka Gakkai and its parallel political arm the Komeito party. Its aggressive attitudes sometimes lead other Buddhist denominations to think it un-Buddhist.
T here a re distant analogues to Neopl atonism. T he Neo-Confu cian emph asis was on the inves tigation of things: C hu H si's essentia lism however meant that outer knowledge need not b e empiri cally wid e-ra ngin g, sin ce knowl edge of a good instance of som e phenom enon would yield knowl ed ge in effect of a ll the other in sta nces. All this side of C hu Hsi's thought is fa r removed fro m the conventionali sm of mea ning a nd flu x of experience urged by the Buddhi sts. Yet while C h u Hsi rem ained righ tly loya l to what he conceived to be the canon of Confucia n wri tings, the complexity of hi s cosmological though t linked up with som e e mph as is on medita ti on in the inves tigation of thi ngs whi ch co untered , from a traditiona lis t perspective, the theory a nd practice of Budd hism .
But they describe in detail a process of self-training which may have analogues to Western mysticism . We may note that the Buddha decided on the basis of his cosmological vision of the impermanence of everything that the idea of a soul was unnecessary: it was sufficient to have a permanent state or goal, namely nirvana, which could sum up the required notions that liberation is possible and that it transcends the impermanent world. Beyond this, the Buddha's application of the negative path was rigorous, and is rather like the negative theology of Dionysius the Areopagite and his successors (save that in the Western tradition the notion of thing or substance ruled).
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