Special Issue "Buddhism in Modernity: Thriving or Threatened?"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ronald E. Purser
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94044, USA
Interests: mindfulness; Buddhist ethics; Buddhist meditation; Buddhist modernism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Buddhism, the most protean of religions, has never been more widespread or influential as in the last fifty years. Yet many scholars and practitioners see Buddhism less as thriving and more as threatened by its very intimate and receptive contact with modernity in the form of the scientific-materialistic zeitgeist, global capitalism, consumerism, psychologization, decontextualization and perennialism. Numerous scholars and practitioners have called for a more socially engaged and critical Buddhist praxis that could serve as a countervailing force to address the proliferation of urgent social, political, economic and climate crises. We invite scholarship from all disciplines to address either or both sides of this question, with respect to the secular mindfulness movement, secular Buddhism, traditional Buddhism in modern contexts, Buddhist modernism, socially-engaged Buddhism, Buddhism and Marxism, and Buddhist Socialism.

Prof. Dr. Ronald E. Purser
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Buddhist Modernism
  • mindfulness
  • secular Buddhism
  • socially-engaged Buddhism
  • Buddhist socialism

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
The Buddha’s Empirically Testable “Ten Criteria” Challenges the Authenticity of Truth Claims: A Critical Review and Its Potential Applicability to Debunking the Various Post-Truths
Religions 2019, 10(12), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10120645 - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Modern readers who investigate religious theories and practices are exposed to diverse truth claims and worldviews. Such claims are often conflicting and subject the readers to various misconceptions and misguidance. In Buddhism, the Buddha is said to have awakened to the true nature [...] Read more.
Modern readers who investigate religious theories and practices are exposed to diverse truth claims and worldviews. Such claims are often conflicting and subject the readers to various misconceptions and misguidance. In Buddhism, the Buddha is said to have awakened to the true nature of existence and attained final liberation from suffering, referred to as “enlightenment.” How was he able to convince his disciples of his self-claimed enlightenment? Can his reasoning be applied to modern readers, who are well-educated, but overloaded with the incessant proliferation of digital information? The Buddha, specifically in the Kālāma Sutta, presents empirically testable guidelines, termed the “Ten Criteria,” which were formulated as an integrated interplay of reasoning and morality. This essay examines the Buddha’s strategy, which is empirical and pragmatic in nature and embraces the fundamental principles of modern science. We contend that his proposed methodology is verifiably evocative of a moral discipline, while presenting a pedagogical approach to the teacher–student dynamic. Serving as a reference point, this view may help modern readers in differentiating the right truth from the biased post-truths, which appeal to emotion and personal belief. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism in Modernity: Thriving or Threatened?)
Open AccessArticle
Silencing and Oblivion of Psychological Trauma, Its Unconscious Aspects, and Their Impact on the Inflation of Vajrayāna. An Analysis of Cross-Group Dynamics and Recent Developments in Buddhist Groups Based on Qualitative Data
Religions 2019, 10(11), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10110622 - 10 Nov 2019
Abstract
The commercialization of Buddhist philosophy has led to decontextualization and indoctrinating issues across groups, as well as abuse and trauma in that context. Methodologically, from an interdisciplinary approach, based on the current situation in international Buddhist groups and citations of victims from the [...] Read more.
The commercialization of Buddhist philosophy has led to decontextualization and indoctrinating issues across groups, as well as abuse and trauma in that context. Methodologically, from an interdisciplinary approach, based on the current situation in international Buddhist groups and citations of victims from the ongoing research, the psychological mechanisms of rationalizing and silencing trauma were analyzed. The results show how supposedly Buddhist terminology and concepts are used to rationalize and justify economic, psychological and physical abuse. This is discussed against the background of psychological mechanisms of silencing trauma and the impact of ignoring the unconscious in that particular context. Inadequate consideration regarding the teacher–student relationship, combined with an unreflective use of Tibetan honorary titles and distorted conceptualizations of methods, such as the constant merging prescribed in so-called 'guru yoga', resulted in giving up self-responsibility and enhanced dependency. These new concepts, commercialized as 'karma purification' and 'pure view', have served to rationalize and conceal abuse, as well as to isolate the victims. Therefore, we are facing societal challenges, in terms of providing health and economic care to the victims and implementing preventive measures. This use of language also impacts on scientific discourse and Vajrayāna itself, and will affect many future generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism in Modernity: Thriving or Threatened?)
Open AccessArticle
Mindfulness of Death as a Tool for Mortality Salience Induction with Reference to Terror Management Theory
Religions 2019, 10(6), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060353 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
In this article, I argue that “mindfulness of death” (maraṇasati) can be a tool to induce mortality salience and can have a positive psychological impact. The mindfulness of death is described in detail in the early Buddhist texts Aṅguttara Nikāya and [...] Read more.
In this article, I argue that “mindfulness of death” (maraṇasati) can be a tool to induce mortality salience and can have a positive psychological impact. The mindfulness of death is described in detail in the early Buddhist texts Aṅguttara Nikāya and Visuddhimagga. The texts stress that death should be consciously connected with temporality and mindfulness. Here, I look at the mindfulness of death in relation to the mortality salience of terror management theory. “Mortality salience” is a term proposed in terror management theory that means “the state of conscious activation of the thoughts of death”. In addition, after conscious activation of the thought of death, I examine the psychological changes, such as the increase of pro-social attitudes which emphasizes ethics and morality, and the emphasis on the intrinsic value of life due to the operation of a cultural worldview and self-esteem. In this paper, I conclude that mindfulness of death can be an effective tool to induce mortality salience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism in Modernity: Thriving or Threatened?)
Open AccessArticle
Vulnerability, Response-Ability, and the Promise of Making Refuge
Religions 2019, 10(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020080 - 26 Jan 2019
Abstract
This paper proposes “making refuge” as a conceptual placeholder and an analytical rubric, a guiding ethos and praxis, for the engaged Buddhist aspiration of responding to the social, political, economic, and planetary crises facing the world. Making refuge is conceived as the work [...] Read more.
This paper proposes “making refuge” as a conceptual placeholder and an analytical rubric, a guiding ethos and praxis, for the engaged Buddhist aspiration of responding to the social, political, economic, and planetary crises facing the world. Making refuge is conceived as the work of building the conditions of trust and safety necessary for living and dying well together as co-inhabitants of diverse communities and habitats. The paper will explain the rationale for making refuge by connecting the dharmic understanding of dukkha with feminist conceptualizations of the body and vulnerability. This will chart some theoretical and methodological pathways for engaged Buddhism to further its liberatory aspirations in reciprocity with emergent movements in radical critical theory, contemplative studies, and social and ecological activism. The paper will also examine the effects of white supremacy in U.S. Buddhism through the framework of making refuge. This will demonstrate how political healing and restorative justice might be cultivated through a dispositional ethics that pays appropriate attention to the vulnerabilities facing oppressed people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism in Modernity: Thriving or Threatened?)
Back to TopTop