11. Suffering and Its Relief: A Buddhist Approach to Religious Pluralism
Christopher Ives [+]
A fruitful Buddhist approach to religious pluralism is to step away from viewing the plurality of religious traditions as different ways of getting at the Real or śūnyatā (à la John Hick and Masao Abe) and construe the plurality of religious traditions as different responses to core human problems, including what Buddhism designates as “suffering.” Along these lines, the Four Noble Truths can provide a template for encountering (and perhaps analyzing and categorizing) various religious traditions—for theorizing religious pluralism. At the practical level, with this approach Buddhists can build on dialogue with adherents of other traditions and engage in collaborative action with them in response to problems like violence and the climate crisis.