The Thought of Sangharakshita - A Critical Assessment - Robert M. Ellis

The Thought of Sangharakshita - A Critical Assessment - Robert M. Ellis

Making Buddhism Universal

The Thought of Sangharakshita - A Critical Assessment - Robert M. Ellis

Robert M. Ellis [+-]
Middle Way Society
Robert M Ellis has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and a Cambridge BA in Oriental Studies and Theology. Originally from a Christian background, he spent about 20 years practising Buddhism, including as a member of the Triratna Order. However, he now describes himself as a Middle Way practitioner without exclusive loyalty to any one religious tradition. Over the last 20 years he has developed Middle Way Philosophy, initially in his Ph.D. thesis. This is best described as a practical and integrative philosophical approach, incorporating many elements not only from Buddhism but also from psychology, neuroscience, and other aspects of Western thought. In 2013 he founded the Middle Way Society ( to develop and apply Middle Way Philosophy beyond the limitations of the Buddhist tradition, both in theory and practice. Robert has earned a living for more than 20 years as a teacher and tutor of philosophy and related subjects. He has previously published both academic and introductory books about Middle Way Philosophy, and recently a parallel book on Christianity, ‘The Christian Middle Way’.


This section focuses on the positive ways that Sangharakshita tried to relate Buddhism to key Western concepts: those of creativity, provisionality, integration, and individuality. These all connect aspects of Buddhism to Western practices in the arts, science, psychology and democracy. They can be connected together particularly through the concept of the Middle Way. Sangharakshita’s treatment of these themes helped Westerners to engage with Buddhism, but they also contain various limitations, inconsistencies and dogmatic assumptions.

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Ellis, Robert. Making Buddhism Universal. The Thought of Sangharakshita - A Critical Assessment. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 18-71 Jul 2020. ISBN 9781781799291. Date accessed: 22 Jan 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38959. Jul 2020

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