• Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Religious Market Share Paid Member

    In its December 2007 issue (p. 26 or so), National Geographic reports on World Religions (with helpful and colorful diagrams.) The world breaks down this way: 33% Christian, 21% Muslim, 14% Nonbelievers, 13% Hindus, 12% Other, 6% Buddhist, and a small amount of Jews, some fraction of 1%. The data comes from 2005, courtesy of the World Christian Database (Center for the Study of Global Christianity at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and there is nothing about number or methods. It doesn't really matter -- Americans are mostly interested in the Muslim figures in studies like this. The Nonbelievers figure is probably skewed by Communist countries, which all rank very high in Nonbelievers, with the exception of Laos -- and frankly I'm very skeptical as to what their data is on Laos anyway. This is all about Market Share. More »
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    Protests at Bodh Gaya, Korean Idyll, and Tibet House Auction Paid Member

    Danny Fisher alerts us to the protests at Bodh Gaya -- protests against the Myanamar junta, that is. There is a strong Burmese presence in Bodh Gaya, Burma being not so far away. (Since the monks mentioned are wearing yellow, not red, they are more likely to be Sri Lankan, perhaps, than Burmese.) Beautiful account (plus photos!) of a visit to Korea on the always entertaining Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa. Our friends at Tibet House are teaming up with Christie's for an auction on December 5th. What's up for grabs? Works by Donald Baechler, Lynn Davis and Annie Leibovitz, exotic trips and a guitar autographed by Dave Matthews. More »
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    Atheism, Vietnam, Sarkozy, and Holiday Stress Paid Member

     Why is atheism so hot right now? The Nation's Katha Pollitt: There's no question in my mind that horror at militant Islam and fear of Muslim immigration lie behind at least some of the current vogue for atheism--you don't make the bestseller list by excoriating the evils of Lutheranism or Buddhism. The problem is that the more scorn one feels for religious belief, the less able one is to appreciate "reformed" or "moderate" variants of the faith. After all, pro-gay Episcopalians and liberation theology Catholics still believe in Christ, the afterlife, sin; reformed Jews still find wisdom in the Old Testament. Strictly speaking, an atheist should have no truck with any of it. But if all you can offer people is reasons to quit their religion--which also often means their community, their family, their support system and their identity--you're not going to have many takers. More »
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    Blog Blowback Paid Member

    The New York Times blog commented on Clark Strand's WSJ piece a while back. (See this post as well if you like.) There are many interesting comments following the NYT post: You certainly can't argue that Mr. Strand doesn't know how to ruffle some feathers. Many people seemed to miss that this was an opinion piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, although it's true that a related article appeared earlier in Tricycle. It seems Brad Warner of Hardcore Zen wants a job, a good job! More »
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    Einstein and Buddha, together again Paid Member

    Steven Seagal is back on the Buddhist scene, visiting what is said to be Europe's largest Buddhist temple in the Russian Federation republic of Kalmykia. Most readers will remember that Seagal was recognized as a tulku by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche about ten years ago. Kalmykia itself is notable for being the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion. Seagal is also visiting a boxing tournament in Elista, Kalmykia's capital. More »
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    Business as Usual in Burma Paid Member

    The cyclone that hit Bangladesh last week killed more than 3,000 people and may have left a million homeless. As sea levels rise, expect more problems like this in Bangladesh and other low-lying coastal areas (where most of the world's population lives.) A Hollywood movie has Jesus hanging out with Buddhists and fighting the caste system in India during his "missing years" between ages 13 and 30. ASEAN is coming under fire for their handling of the situation in Burma. U.S. Trade Representative and Bush appointee Susan Schwab said ASEAN has a "special responsibility" to make Burma comply with international calls for reform. And U.N. More »