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.
While we cannot definitively know that secular Buddhism is the most ‘appropriate’ approach to the dharma in some universal sense, Mike Slott asserts that each individual can determine whether secular Buddhism is an ‘appropriate’ view and path for their own life based on their experiences, interests, and goals.
Secular Buddhism doesn’t need to be understood as a new ‘Buddhism’ but more as a different approach to practice. This approach starts from our perspective as modern people, and thanks to this lens, revises the meaning of the teachings of an ancient tradition so that they can speak to human beings today.
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi explores the differences between traditional and secular forms of Buddhism, and expresses concern that both approaches have viewed political activism as marginal to the dharmic path.