The Future or Death of Religion: an Interfaith Discussion

An Interfaith Discussion, The Future or Death of Religion

February 25, 1pm PST.Mark your calendars.I will be speaking with three amazing representatives of different religions, hosted by Mark W. Gura, on the topic of the future of religion. Here is the official blurb:An Interfaith Discussion About┬áThe Future Or Death Of Religion Hosted By Mark W. Gura With the turn of the new year and recent depictions of religion in the media, many are asking where religion is heading in 2014. The Rise of the Nones, the recent Pew Study on Religious … [Read more...]

The Onion satirizes Buddhism: “Extremist Cell Vows to Unleash Tranquility On West”

Onion - buddhism

You can read the full story for yourself at The Onion.But after settling in for what I thought would be a light-hearted parody on Buddhism's ever-so-peaceful image in the West, I began to feel a bit uneasy. The article is clever enough (although the mish-mash of Buddhist traditions leaves much to be desired) but the parody instead is on the Western image of Islamic terrorism (principally that of al-Qaeda).It may just be that I recently finished a grueling up-and-down week of teaching … [Read more...]

India, Pakistan, & a commercial to make you cry with joy

I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and growing ever more nostalgic for India myself (I can't believe it's been 3 years!). But nothing could have prepared me for this:When I was just 21 or 22, a friend lent me Cracking India, a story of the partition as experienced in Lahore. Later I watched Deepa Mehta's film adaptation of the book, Earth (1998), and watched it again, and again (full movie available here). … [Read more...]

Two more must-reads on Buddhism and Aaron Alexis/the Navy Yard Shooting

As with any human tragedy of this kind, there are countless angles or perspectives from which to view and discuss the shootings earlier this week. In this post and the next I'll highlight four that I found particularly useful. The first two draw our attention to our religious stereotyping of both Buddhism and Islam:Navy Yard shooting puts Buddhism in spotlight: Column┬áby Stephen Prothero. Prothero is a professor in Boston University's religion department and author of several books on … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Violence on the BBC

BBC-beyondbelief

On Monday the BBC radio show Beyond Belief debated the place of violence in Buddhism. The host, Ernie Rae, was joined by:Michael Jerryson, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Youngstown State University, Ohio, who co-edited the book 'Buddhist Warfare'; Rupert Gethin, Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and Soe Win Than, a journalist who was born in Myanmar and who works for the BBC's Burmese Service as well as, breifly, Maung Zarni, a Burmese dissident and … [Read more...]

Ethnicity, Ideologies, and the unraveling of modern Burma

pagan burma

This Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of the 8/8/88 uprising in Burma, which will hopefully spur some much needed discussion about the situation in the country (officially renamed Myanmar by the military junta in 1989, but still called Burma by those who deny the legitimacy of that government).Three articles have already popped up in the last few days that deserve mention, if only for the varying perspectives in them - all dealing specifically with recent Buddhist-Muslim violence. The … [Read more...]


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