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

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


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’.


The aspects of Sangharakshita’s ideas that have caused most controversy are those that relate to his personal authority in the Order he founded, the use of his image, and his attitudes to feminism, single sex practice, families and sexual activity. In all of these areas this section tries to focus on Sangharakshita’s underlying assumptions, and assess how far they were responsible for unhelpful outcomes. The sexual abuse allegations are put in the context of his thought rather than judged on an individual basis. In many of these areas his odd mixture of traditionalism, Platonism, and bias towards promiscuity seem to have created serious conflict, although there are also a few genuine practical achievements.

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Ellis, Robert. Controversies. The Thought of Sangharakshita - A Critical Assessment. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 167-221 Jul 2020. ISBN 9781781799291. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38962. Jul 2020

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