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Monday
Jul302012

Secular Buddhism

Thanks to Steven Batchelor's work most of all, space is opening up around the notion of a neo-Buddhist philosophy and practice that rejects the supernatural elements of the traditional religion: principally, reincarnation and karma.

Batchelor's Confession of a Buddhist Atheist is a good place to start with his work, as I think it's some of his most lucid writing. Note that it is a memoir, not a treatise on philosophy. Though it has philosophical aspects, basically it's the story of Batchelor's travels through various forms of Buddhist practice in India, Korea and Europe.

A number of Secular Buddhist organizations have sprung up around Batchelor's ideas, principally the Secular Buddhist Association, the website of which includes a number of interesting links.

After chatting with Ted Meissner from the SBA, it became clear that we were on the same wavelength about notions of science and skepticism informing -- and at times trumping -- notions of Buddhism and Buddhist practice. He suggested doing a podcast together with two denizens of our skeptical, secularist Forum who have similar interests.

The podcast is out now, and can be accessed and downloaded HERE.

 

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