Buddhism and magic

We’re not talking about magicians, we’re talking about ritual and whether or not there is some efficacious power inherent in Buddhist ritual practice. Ritual is often derided by modern folks or rejected explicitly as not a part of Buddhism, distinct from practice proper. But there’s ritual throughout Buddhist history and practice, and ritual serves an …

Buddhism and belief

Inspired by a listener question/discussion on Facebook, we tackle the issue of belief in (Shin) Buddhism, specifically when it comes to Pure Land imagery. Are we expected to believe in it in some substantive, literal sense? Or do we take it as metaphorical? Symbolic? Symbolic of what exactly? We start by suggesting that wrestling with …

Buddhism and Humanism

We’re back! Using a couple of related listener questions as a jumping off point, we start a conversation about what Buddhism might have to say about (secular) humanism or what humanism might have to say about Buddhism. Apart from anything humanism may have to say about the rejection of a supernatural or religious foundation for …

Post-modern Shinshu: part one

Somewhat related to our last episode on the one thing that unites all Buddhist schools, this week Harry and Scott talk about a post-modern Shin Buddhism. To really talk about post-modernity, of course, we needed to dwell a bit on modernity and how its use of meta-narratives helped explain the world. But the meta-narratives also …