We find punna bhava, or "again becoming", in the Pali canon and references to the Buddha's discussions of having been such and such in a previous lifetime. So, from that perspective, it would be considered religious, not cultural.Justsit wrote: So does SB consider the teachings on rebirth as a cultural manifestation?
However, as a skeptic, I would suggest that rebirth is an assertion not in evidence. We have wonderful and inspiring stories about it, the idea may help one's practice, or may not -- for many of us, it does not. Nor is rebirth in the Four Noble Truths, ending dukkha is. Sure, there is the teaching that ending rebirths is what results, that is the result of extinguishing the roots of lobha, dosa, and moha, but there are indications rebirth was not part of the original teaching.
And, honestly, I don't really have much attachment to what anyone said, I care what has been shown by my own experience is effective. Taking the Kalama Sutta at its word! In another arena, science, e=mc2 is valid all by itself, that it was Einstein who said it doesn't have any impact on the veracity of that formula. I respect and admire Einstein and Buddha, and take what they've said as great ideas to test for myself.