Fundamentals of Buddhist Religiosity
… and its cultural adaptations
Surely Buddhism in all of its traditional forms seems to have something of religion about it, for instance, devotional, ritual, liturgical and institutional features, to supplement somewhat unique doctrinal aspects and a program of personal practice. Yet some have argued recently that Buddhist religiosity is entirely a product of cultural accretion that began after the Buddha and has little to do with the core message of the Buddha. This yields two kinds of questions:
(1) What is the degree of religiosity in the Buddha’s core message?
(2) What is the degree of religiosity for any particular Buddhist tradition?
My responses will be something of a middle way, that indeed elements of religiosity were an intrinsic part of the Buddha’s core message and that these same core elements are found in virtually every historic Buddhist tradition, but that through cultural adaptation in virtually every tradition the degree of religiosity has become more prominent, sometimes exceedingly more prominent. However this fortified religiosity may or may not be a diversion from the Buddha’s core message. A third question we will add to the mix is,
(3) In what ways is religiosity for any particular Buddhist tradition a hindrance or an asset to preserving the Buddha’s core message?
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Negotiating the Dharma (coming soon)
Finding Our Way (coming soon)