Books and articles on secular Buddhism

June 20, 2021

One indication of the growing interest in secular Buddhism is the large number of books and articles that have been recently written on the topic or which discuss issues related to secular Buddhism. Below is a short selection of books and articles that you will find useful, including several articles critical of secular Buddhism.

The list below does not include books and articles by either Stephen Batchelor, which you can find on the SBN website here, or by Winton Higgins, which you can find here.



Bodhi, Bhikkhu – “Facing the Great Divide,” Inquiring Mind, v. 31#2, Spring 2015.

Contestabile, Bruno – “Secular Buddhism and Justice,” Contemporary Buddhism, v.19#2, 2018.

Fronsdal, Gil – “Natural Buddhism,” Insight Journal, 2014.

Loy, David – “The Three Institutional Poisons: Challenging Collective Greed, Ill Will, and Delusion,” Insight Journal, Winter 2006.

McKay, Stephen, “Development Along the Path: Nirvana, numinous experience, and emptiness,” Insight Journal, 2018.

Peacock, John, “The Buddha Doesn’t Do Cozy,” Insight Journal, 2015.

Sofer, Oren Jay – “The Inherently Relational Nature of the Buddhist Path,” Insight Journal, 2019.

Slott, Michael – “Can You Be a Buddhist and a Marxist?” Contemporary Buddhism, v.12#2, 2011. 

Slott, Michael – “Secular, Radically-Engaged Buddhism,” Contemporary Buddhism, v.16#2, 2015.

Verhaegen, Paul – “Good and Well: The Case for a Secular Buddhist Ethics,” Contemporary Buddhism, v.16#1, 2015.

Wallace, B. Alan – “Distorted Vision of Buddhism: Agnostic and Atheist,” Mandala, October 2010.

Weber, Akincano – “Secular Buddhism: New vision or yet another of the myths it claims to cure?” Insight Journal, 2013.

Weber, Akincano – “Beyond Scientific Materialism and Religious Belief,”  Bodhi College, 2018.

Wright, Dale – “A Philosophical Assessment of Secular Buddhism,” Insight Journal, 2015.



2 Replies to “Books and articles on secular Buddhism”

Mike W

Currently reading my way through ‘Payne, Richard (ed.) – Secularizing Buddhism: new perspectives on a dynamic tradition’. Two thirds of the way into the book, I fear the title seems to be a bit misleading. It should instead be something along the the lines of, ‘Arguments Against Secularizing Buddhism’. However, I believe not as many copies would be sold, were this the title.

Mike W

…A couple of pages to go now, from what seems like a long whine. Chapter 12 was refreshing though.

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