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

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

9. The Dalai Lama and Religious Diversity

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

Abraham Vélez de Cea [+-]
Eastern Kentucky University
Born in Saragossa, Spain, Dr. J. Abraham Vélez de Cea is professor of Buddhism and World Religions at Eastern Kentucky University. He came to the USA in 20002 and before joining EKU in 2006, he taught Buddhism, Buddhist Ethics, and Buddhist-Christian Mysticism in the department of theology at Georgetown University. He is active in the Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflective Group of the AAR, and serves as the chair of the Frederick J. Streng Book Award for excellence in Buddhist-Christian Studies. He is the author of The Buddha and Religious Diversity (Routledge, 2013), which discusses the Buddha’s attitude towards religious diversity in conversation with Christian theology of religions. He is currently working on a book about multiple religious belonging and the possibility of being both a disciple of Buddha and Jesus.

Description

The chapter introduces the Dalai Lama’s approach to religious diversity as formulated in Towards True Kinship of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together. The first part explains the Dalai Lama’s ideal of interreligious harmony and the means to achieve it. Interreligious harmony requires various types of dialogue and the acknowledgment of fundamental differences among the religions. In order to achieve the ideal of interreligious harmony it is also necessary a balance between respectful acceptance of religious diversity and faithful commitment to one’s own tradition. The means to attain such balance is to uphold with integrity two distinct perspectives: the exclusivist perspective “one truth, one religion” in the context of individual practice, and the pluralist perspective “many truths, many religions” in the context of social interreligious relationships. The second part provides a sympathetic yet critical assessment of the Dalai Lama’s approach to religious diversity. It is argued that while the Dalai Lama’s proposal offers a robust foundation for accepting religious diversity, such acceptance is problematic because it is limited to the level of ethical teachings and confined to the context of social interactions.

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Citation

Vélez de Cea , Abraham. 9. The Dalai Lama and Religious Diversity. Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity - Theravāda and Tibetan Perspectives. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 155-166 Aug 2020. ISBN 9781781799055. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=39811. Date accessed: 24 Jan 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39811. Aug 2020

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