8. Thoughts on Why, How and What Buddhists Can Learn from Christian Theologians

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

John Makransky [+-]
Boston College
John Makransky is Associate Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, senior academic advisor for Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, and current President of the Society of Buddhist-Christian studies. John is the developer of the Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) model, and co-founder and guiding teacher of the Courage of Care Coalition and Foundation for Active Compassion, organizations that provide contemplative trainings in sustainable care and compassion for people in caring professions and social and environmental activism. John's academic writings have focused on doctrines and practices of Indian Mahāyāna and Tibetan Buddhism, on Buddhist meditation theory and practice with applications to current needs, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning. Information on his work can be found at these websites: http://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/theology/faculty/jmakransky.html; http://courageofcare.org; http://foundationforactivecompassion.org


This essay attempts to establish foundations for doing comparative theology, deep learning across religious boundaries, from a Buddhist perspective (from the author's location in Tibetan Buddhism). The essay argues for the necessity of developing a Buddhist theology of religions, a way of understanding the possibility of liberating truth in other religions, which is consistent with Buddhist principles and would appropriately motivate and guide a Buddhist approach to comparative theology. It develops such a theology of religions, a Buddhist form of open inclusivism, by drawing on relevant principles from Buddhist texts together with recent academic scholarship in the various theologies of religions. With that basis, the essay gives examples of five areas of comparative theological learning for Buddhists from Christianity, focusing on the following themes: atonement theory, faith in God, the two great commandments, ecclesiology, and justice. It concludes with the author’s reflections on how this process of inter-religious learning further informs his Buddhist approach to the theology of religions.

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Makransky, John. 8. Thoughts on Why, How and What Buddhists Can Learn from Christian Theologians. Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity - Theravāda and Tibetan Perspectives. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Sep 2020. ISBN 9781781799055. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38396. Date accessed: 25 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38396. Sep 2020

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