4. Openness towards the Religious Other in Buddhism

Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity - Theravāda and Tibetan Perspectives - Douglas Duckworth

Carola Roloff [+-]
Academy of World Religions, University of Hamburg
Bhikṣuṇī Jampa Tsedroen (Dr Carola Roloff), is a Senior Researcher in the area of Buddhism at the Academy of World Religions, University of Hamburg. She became a novice nun in 1981 and obtained full ordination in Taiwan in 1985. From 1981 to 1996 she studied Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice with Geshe Thubten Ngawang at Tibetisches Zentrum e.V., followed by Tibetology and classical Indology at the University of Hamburg, where she received her MA degree in 2003 and her doctorate in 2009. Specialising in nuns' ordination (DFG project since 2010), in 2012, she served as a Forum Humanum visiting professor at the Academy of World Religions. Since 2013 she has been an active member of the interdisciplinary and interreligious "Religion and Dialogue in Modern Societies" (ReDi) research team, an international project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany).


This chapter argues that in Buddhism—irrespective of the religious other’s understanding of ultimate reality—there is potential for fruitful exchange and common ground with other religions. For the peaceful and respectful coexistence of religious communities it is crucial to address—and not to exclude or minimize—the different views of their respective religious truths. Cultivating an inner attitude of benevolence and openness will prove advantageous for our interaction with others. Three central Buddhist teachings are analyzed in view of their potential for openness towards the religious others in theory and in practice: the Four Immeasurables, the Skill in Liberative Technique and the Two Truths. These teachings, although not explicitly spoken about, still have the potential to generate openness towards and elaborate on the religious other with reference to modern societies in the 21st century.

Notify A Colleague


Roloff, Carola. 4. Openness towards the Religious Other in Buddhism. Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity - Theravāda and Tibetan Perspectives. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Sep 2020. ISBN 9781781799055. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38392. Date accessed: 05 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38392. Sep 2020

Dublin Core Metadata