Buddhist view on Christianity (Stephen Batchelor posts)

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
binocular
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Re: Buddhist view on Christianity (Stephen Batchelor posts)

Post by binocular » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:23 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:45 am
His stance outlined in the talk is essentially the post-modernist relativising stance of Don Cupitt's Christian theology applied to Buddhism.
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That's fine, of course, but it undercuts itself and begs the question as to whether his own view has anything to do with Buddhism at all, or is merely a type of pragmatic English niceness. The same applies to some extent to John Peacock.
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The talks were delivered with such suffocating smugness that they were hard to bear. I think that you have to be British to fully appreciate such grammar-school-boy condescension.
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But it was organised by The Guardian newspaper, and its readers are (or see themselves as) young, urban, and sophisticated. It's much easier for them to relate to a professorial type who has a radical new theory
And it's because of things like this that I think that the views and teachings of these modern Buddhist teachers have more to do with being a member of a particular socio-economic class, preferrably, the upper middle class (and upwards), rather than having to do with Buddhism.

Old, traditional religions are usually open to and accessible by all socio-economic classes. But for the modern teachers, one needs a degree in the humanities, preferrably an advanced one, just to be able to linguistically and conceptually understand what they're talking about. And to keep up with them, to be able to afford all the retreats, meditation classes etc., one needs to have sufficient funds and a flexible enough work schedule.

I find this scary; because if what these modern teachers teach is Buddhism, is the path to the end of suffering, then the majority of people are doomed.

Amaro would, as Mike says, have been absolutely perfect for such a gig.
But he wouldn't get into a detailed discussion with Batchelor, would he?

In Batchelor's stance, though, there is a hint that the whole of the teaching can be reduced to "an appropriate statement". Because one cannot trust the accretions of tradition, the authentic Buddhist path is to meet whatever arises in one's life with a graceful spontaneity based on one's understanding of the Three Characteristics. Well, quite, but the trouble is, it takes most of us a huge amount of training to get to that position.
But any kind of training is based on those "accretions of tradition". Including Batchelor's. He didn't come to his insights following the instructions he now gives to other people. No, he started off in an actual Buddhist tradition, with all its accretions, that's where he received his training, that's where he developed his mind.

This is what I find the most suspicious about him: He didn't come to his insights following the instructions he now gives to other people.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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