Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World
An essential collection of Stephen Batchelor's most probing and important work on secular Buddhism
As the practice of mindfulness permeates mainstream western culture, more and more people are engaging in a traditional form of Buddhist meditation. However, many of these people have little interest in the religious aspects of Buddhism, and the practice occurs within secular contexts such as hospitals, schools, and the workplace. Is it possible to recover from the Buddhist teachings a vision of human flourishing that is secular rather than religious without compromising the integrity of the tradition? Is there an ethical framework that can underpin and contextualize these practices in a rapidly changing world?
In this collected volume of Stephen Batchelor's writings on these themes, he explores the complex implications of Buddhism's secularization. Ranging widely - from reincarnation, religious belief, and agnosticism to the role of the arts in Buddhist practice - he offers a detailed description of contemporary Buddhism and its attempt to find a voice in the modern world.
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About the Author
Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions. He has translated Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life and is the author of Alone with Others, The Faith to Doubt, The Tibet Guide, The Awakening of the West, Buddhism without Beliefs, and Verses from the Center. He is a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine, a guiding teacher at Gaia House Retreat Centre, and cofounder of Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Inquiry in Devon, England. He lives in southwest France and lectures and conducts meditation retreats worldwide.