[Buddha-l] Bourgeois Buddhism

Stefan Detrez stefan.detrez at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 09:58:31 MDT 2011

> In a message dated 9/21/2011 8:05:42 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
> dingirfecho at gmail.com writes:
> I guess that he means that there´s a cultural, ethical, social  and
> religious dimension to buddhism, which in his eyes supersedes  the
> practice of buddhism. But if that were the only dimensions  that
> buddhism had, it would be a kind of tribal religion.
> Poor  Buddhaghuya and his Yogavatara, also...and the yogaratnamala, and
> the  vimalaprabha, etc...they just missed the point.

I think his point is that to 'be Buddhist' is a portemanteau and that it
would be interesting to see what kind of person wears such a coat. I see no
problem in asking Buddhists around the world to provide a justification for
their Buddhist identity. I myself have fresh Mongol immigrants in my ethics
class who say they are Buddhist, but when I ask them what that actually
means the most they can say is that you have to have respect for the Buddha.
Soteriology, buddhalogy or buddhology or anything more intellectually
sophisticated is not their piece fo cake. For me, people have the right to
claim a particular religious identity, but they shouldn't act flabbergasted
if the description of their religious identity is laughed away as hollow or


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