On Whether Christians Should Participate in Buddhist Practice
A Critical Autobiographical Reflection
Keywords:Christian, Buddhist, Zen, Madhuyamaka, interreligious, ritual
Can Christians participate in Buddhist practice? The author, a Christian in an incarnationalist-sacramental tradition who practices in the Soto Zen lineage, answers the question in the affirmative, suggesting that one must risk the experience of practice to judge the legitimacy of practice; but also suggests that this will not be the only Christian answer to the question. The answer depends in part on one’s view of ritual as a way of knowing; on one’s understanding of the nature and complexity of religions; and on one’s account of religious plurality. The author concludes that a judgment about interreligious practice will depend on these and other factors, as well as on the experience and the particulars of the life story and location within a religious tradition of the person asking the question.
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