HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF BUDDHISM

  • Created by: Banisha.
  • Created on: 21-04-18 13:18

ATTITUDES TOWARDS BUDDHISM

  • COLONIALISM - Notion that western culture is superior to anything that is producd in the 'colonies' The british empire ruled - it is arguable British buddhism has been interpreted 
  • colonialist - buddhism was studied from the point of view that it was interesting yet inferior to western philosophy 

buddhism to the west 

  • christian missionaires wanted to supplant buddhism in sri lanks with christianity 
  • english servants took interest in buddhism out of academic/ linguistic interests 
  • pali text society - 1881 Rhy Davids focused on translating theravadan scriptures into english 
  • the buddhist society -1925 Christmas Humpreys interests in attempting buddhist practise and would invite buddhist speakers from the east to give lectures 

buddhists groups in england 

  • thai forest tradition
  • triratna community
  • sokka gakkai / new kadampa tradition 
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PROTESTANT BUDDHISM

  • could argue british buddhists take a protestant attitude to eastern buddhists - attitude that traditional buddhism has become too corupt with elaborate rituals not mentioned in the scriptures 
  • protestant approach is to do away with traditions and go back to the scriptures to establish what religion should all be about 

POST WW11

  • british culture changed radically after ww11 - we entered a post modern age in many aspects of society
  • people began to question the old ways much more - hippies 'flower power' 60's was the period experiementing with eastern culture -  seen as cool - and individuality increased 
  • all these changes made it easier for people to turn to buddhism 
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THE ENGLISH SANGHA TRUST

  • establishes proper sangha that was interested in more than intellectual side of buddhism as well as practises - conservatively in theravada nature

THAI FOREST GROUP

  • established in england - SUMEDHO
  • born in american and trained in thailand to achieve title of AJAHN - guru
  • established AMARAVATI MONASTERY and had many satallite groups of lay people
  • successful transplant of an authentic thai theravada buddhism with a few adaptations

SOKA GAKKAI

  • largest group of british buddhists - form of nichiren buddhism - daimoku 
  • key goal of nichiren buddhism - KOSEN RUFIL - goal of converting other people to nichiren 
  • pre - adapted asian tradition and relatively easy for it to fit into the west 

 

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NEW KADAMPA TRADITION

  • western branch pf dalai lamas sects - leader GYATSO opposed to the role of the dalai lama
  • believe the dalai lama has corrupted tibetan buddhism 

TRIRATNA COMMUNITY 

  • western form of buddhism, protestant in nature 
  • interpretation more faithful to original buddhism 
  • feels that arhat and bodhisattva paths are example developments that the buddha has intended
  • teaches samatha meditation but discourages vipassana 
  • triratna means three jewels

SECULAR BUDDHISM 

  • 20% of non asians converts identified themselves as buddhists but not part of a group
  • non affliated buddhists are the largest single group
  • level of involvement in buddhism varies greatly from philosophical interests to fully practising 
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SECULAR CHACTERISTICS

  • british buddhists metaphysical beliefs in things like karma/ reincarnation can be too difficult to believe in 
  • meditation makes sense for therapeutic reasons - sit realms of samsara often interpreted in a psychological way ie each realm refers to types of human existence with relative happiness/ unhappiness 

STEPHEN BATCHELOR 

  • lived as a tibetan monk for 10 years then became a korean zen monk
  • came to his own conclusion that the historical buddha did not intend to teach a system of metaphysics only interested in a system of meditative therapy 
  • believed in scriptures were changed later on to add a more meta physical dimension in order to compete with other religions 
  • batchelor - described as a 'spearhead' of secular buddhism and an important figure for 20% of british buddhists who cannot subscribe with traditional buddhism 
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HERITAGE AND CONVERT BUDDHISTS

CONVERT 

  • term describing those who have adopted buddhism as their chosen religion without having been brought up with that tradition 
  • this style has dominated heritage style of religiosity
  • people do not have ancestry from asia 

HERITAGE 

  • buddhist religiosity referred to immigrant, migrant, ethnic buddhism
  • religiosity of buddhism is connected ethically with countries where buddhism has dominant presence 
  • typical practises include generosity, chanting, meditation, listening to the dharma sermons and showing respect towards parents 
  • young heritage buddhists can be found in temples, sunday school, asian language and cultural heritage is also taught 
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