International Workshop at the Cluster of Excellence

wwwŚāntideva and the Dynamics of Tradition 25 – 27 May, 2023, Lecture Hall JO 101, JO 1, 48143 Münster, Johannisstr. 4

“Śāntideva” is the name given by the Buddhist tradition to the author of two highly revered texts: the Bodhicaryāvatāra (an introduction to the way and ideal of a Bodhisattva) and the Śiks.āsamuccaya (an anthology of traditional Buddhist texts closely related to the Bodhicaryāvatāra). Śāntideva’s (c. 8 th or 7th ct.) texts reflect a particularly vibrant period of Indian Buddhism. Firmly rooted in the tradition, they simul- taneously display a form of Mahāyāna Buddhism that is at the threshold of undergoing significant transformations such as the growth of its Tantric and Pure Land variants.

Announcement 15 th Conference of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies

logoHuman existence is bodily existence. In their reflections on the body and in their bodily related practices, Buddhism and Christianity engage a crucial aspect of our being. In both traditions the spectrum of views is extremely broad ranging from outright condemnation of the body to its highest praise: “They have realized the deathless who have realized mindfulness directed to the body” (AN I 46), says the Pāli Canon. And in the New Testament we read “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Cor 6,19).

Publication of Last Conference Ready for Order

visionaryA Visionary Approach
Lynn A. de Silva und the Prospects for Buddhist-Christian Encounter

Elizabeth Harris (ed.), Perry Schmidt-Leukel (ed.)

The Sri Lankan Methodist theologian, Dr. Lynn Alton de Silva (16 June 1919 – 22 May 1982), was a major pioneer in Buddhist-Christian dialogue and was one of those who paved the way for the World Council of Churches‘ commitment to inter-faith work. In this book, representatives of the WCC, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue in Colombo, together with friends, companions and a family member pay tribute to his outstanding work and personality. Picking up major topics of de Silva’s work in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, renowned and rising specialists also highlight the continuing significance of his ideas and relate them to the ongoing process of the encounter between the two religious traditions.

Link to the publisher

Theological and Philosophical Conversations between Islam and Buddhism

HumboldtInternational Workshop - Berlin Institute of Islamic Theology, 18 June 2021

Although interreligious dialogue and comparative studies between various religious traditions have been well established over several decades, theological and philosophical conversations between Islam and Buddhism are still in the early stages. The encounter between Muslims and Buddhists has been often overshadowed by misunderstandings, negative images and biases, what also partly explains the lack of interest in theological dialogue between the two religions. From the viewpoint of Islamic theology, Buddhism is predominantly conceived as atheism due to the absence of the concept of a creator God or regarded as idolatry in which the decorated buddha statues are worshipped; whereas the Islamic notion of God as an omniscient and omnipotent creator is commonly seen as an unbridgeable gap on the side of Buddhism. The Buddhist concepts of anātman (non-self) and śūnyatā (emptiness), the theory of rebirth, the Islamic doctrine of prophethood constitute further fundamental differences that are regarded as irreconcilable by members of these religions. In this field of tension, the planned workshop aims to contribute to that underdeveloped branch of comparative studies. It will thus bring three central tenets of Islam and Buddhism into a comparative conversation, giving also room to academic insider perspectives.

Public Statement in Solidarity with Persons of Asian and Pacific Island Descent

Executive Committee of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies

LogoAs leaders of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, we express our solidarity with and concern for persons of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States and beyond, and we deplore and condemn the violence, bias, and prejudice directed at them both past and present.

Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the practice of Christianity in the United States has tragically intertwined with false claims of White supremacy and racial bias against immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Islands and their descendants. Buddhists, Christians, as well as the followers of other Asian religions in the United States have often suffered the effects of this prejudice. We reject these attitudes and actions as a fundamental violation of the values of both Jesus Christ and Shakyamuni Buddha. We denounce the repeated use of inflammatory rhetoric against persons of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry, and we lament the ways in which this has poisoned the atmosphere of public and social discourse in the United States. We express our solidarity and compassion for all those affected by bias and violence, especially those impacted by the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021, and in particular those who lost family members who were murdered in acts of sexualized, gendered violence.

Buddhist-Christian Perspectives on Contemplative Practices and Religious Belonging

ConferenceThis year the annual conference of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies will be held online. The announcement page and link to register may be found here. The sessions will be recorded and will be available for viewing afterward. The event will also be live streamed on the YouTube channel of the Berkley Center Georgetown University.

Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity

Buddhist ResponsesBuddhist Responses to Religious Diversity
Theravāda and Tibetan Perspectives

Douglas Duckworth, Abraham Vélez de Cea,  Elizabeth J. Harris (eds.)

Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity approaches these questions and others from perspectives representing Theravādin and Tibetan traditions of Buddhism.

Buddhist attitudes toward other religious traditions (and its own) are unquestionably diverse, and have undergone changes throughout historical eras and geographic spaces, as Buddhists, and traditions Buddhists have encountered, continue to change (after all, all conditioned things are impermanent). The present time is a particularly dynamic moment to take stock of Buddhist attitudes toward religious others, as Buddhist identities are being renegotiated in unprecedented ways in our increasingly globalized age.