James Mark Shields discusses the New Buddhist Fellowship (NBF), a group of roughly a dozen young scholars and activists in Japan who developed a more modern and secular version of Buddhism. In several important respects, the New Buddhists of early twentieth-century Japan lay the foundations for later movements such as socially engaged and secular Buddhism.
A new collection of essays, ‘Secularizing Buddhism: new perspectives on a dynamic tradition’, unfortunately represents a missed opportunity to explore the emergence of secular Buddhism, to critically examine its assumptions, and to provide us with an accurate snapshot of the diverse views and practices of secular Buddhists.
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.
Registrations are now open for the Fall 2021 class of SBN’s free online course on exploring a secular dharma. Participants in the course will go through the course modules, discuss the topics in each module with each other, and meet on Zoom every two weeks with the instructors for the course.
Robert M. Ellis and Winton Higgins engage in a discussion about Middle Way Philosophy and secular Buddhism, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective.
In a rejoinder to Winton Higgins’s comments on his article, ‘the Middle Way Philosophy and Secular Buddhism’, Robert M. Ellis disputes Winton Higgins’s criticisms of Middle Way Philosophy and contends that this approach, rather than secular Buddhism, identifies and applies the valuable insights of the Buddha in the most universal way available.
Winton Higgins responds to Robert M. Ellis’s SBN article on his Middle Way Philosophy and secular Buddhism. Higgins disagrees with Ellis’s criticisms of secular Buddhism and argues that the Middle Way Philosophy’s eclecticism, while well-intentioned, obscures important differences in the way we understand our spiritual quests.
Robert M. Ellis explains that his Middle Way Philosophy shares with secular Buddhism a critical approach to the Buddhist tradition, but he argues that ‘secular’ is not a term that provides the criteria we need to skillfully interrogate Buddhism and other traditions.
Beginning 19 May 2021, four book launches were held to introduce Winton Higgins’s new book, Revamp: writings on secular Buddhism. The book is published by Tuwhiri and consists of a collection of essays on various topics related to secular Buddhism.
The Secular Buddhist Network is sponsoring an online group which meets the third Thursday of each month on Zoom. It’s a great opportunity for secular Buddhists and those who are interested in learning more about a secular approach to the dharma to connect with each other and to discuss key issues.