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 by Stephen Prothero. Prothero is a professor in Boston University's religion department and author of several books on … [Read more...]

Mea culpa? On “Buddhist Terrorist?” and Reactions

In blogging, as in academia, and in life, one of the great things we have is the opportunity to have our mistakes pointed out to us and the ability to try to make them right.So, about that last post... Buddhist Terrorist? First, I should say that the post came together over an 18 or so hour timeline, which is common enough for blog posts. But because our understanding of the situation changed slightly in those hours, the post ended up a bit disjointed. It started with an observation by a … [Read more...]

The First American Buddhist Terrorist?

Thirteen people are dead as of this writing. Our understanding of what happened is still unfolding (including an NPR story stating that this was not deemed an act of terrorism), but one twist in yesterday's events revolves around shooter Aaron Alexis's religion, which turns out to be Buddhist.As Buddhism has spread in the West, it has put forth and maintained an image of being a peaceful religion. This is a myth that still holds fast among many, if not most, Western Buddhists and it is one I … [Read more...]