August 11, 2009
The "secularization" of Buddhism in the West has its countless proponents. But its secularization may often be little more than a wrong-headed denial of its religious roots. At least that's what we hear from our favorite Buddhist Geek Vincent Horn, who has posted to the Interdependence Project's "One City" blog, hosted by Beliefnet.
While Horn acknowledges some of the positive effects of the secularization of Buddhist practice, in general, the trend doesn't sit well with him:
[L]et me be clear about what I mean when I say, "making Buddhism secular." I mean, specifically, the attempt to strip away the cultural trappings of the tradition, while preserving and re-packaging the "essence" of the tradition (which usually has something to do with meditation practice). In the process the religious language is jettisoned and new "less religious" language is used instead. Phrases like, "Buddhism is more a science than a religion" or "The core technology of Buddhism is meditation" are indicators of the secular impulse. The problem is that Buddhism is a religion. And it's a science. And it's more besides...
Read "Secularizing Buddhism—Making it Accessible or Stripping the Root?" here.