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Source: (consider it) Thread: Buddhism and Christianity Compatible
Tortuf
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In his fascinating book The Silk Roads Peter Frankopan makes the assertion that Christian missionaries were in China during the resurgence of the Sasnian Empire (224 to 651 AD.) One of their tools for gaining converts was to openly say that

"All Buddhas flow and flux by virtue of the very wind [that is, the Holy Spirit], while in this world, there is no place where the wind does not reach." "As such, "man . . . will always do honor to the name of Buddha."

To put it more succinctly, Christianity and Buddhism are the same thing.

Who knew?

I have come to believe that the spiritual principals of Buddhism and Christianity are in no way incompatible. The same thing goes beyond that.

Whaddaya you think?

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mousethief

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That doesn't sound like Christianity at all. Christ is not the Buddha. I can't imagine a Christian missionary using "Buddha" as a proper noun to refer to Christ. Doesn't pass the sniff test.

Calling Christ ***A*** buddha perhaps, if the concept of a buddha is properly fleshed out. But identifying Christ with Siddhartha Gautama? No. That's crazy talk. Jesus Christ was one specific historical character. Siddhartha Gautama was another. No Christian missionary would conflate them.

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Tortuf
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# 3784

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Apparently they did. There are documents from that period that say exactly that.
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mousethief

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Then they had left Christianity entirely.

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mr cheesy
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I don't really understand Buddhism, it seems to me to be on a thought track which means nothing to me.

But I would note that there have been some who see links between Christianity and Buddhism, particularly from within Roman Catholicism. For example Robert Kennedy seems to be able to operate with a foot in both worlds. I'm not sure what the powers-that-be think of this.

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quetzalcoatl
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There is also a legend that Buddhist missionaries trawled through the Middle East, not sure when. It sounds fanciful, but I suppose it may emerge from certain syncretic tendencies in some areas between the two, esp. in Asia.

I have mulled over this many a dull afternoon, as I have practised Zen for 30 years, and used to be a Christian. In practical terms they are compatible, since certain areas of Buddhism require no beliefs, and the practice of compassion is common to both, but of course, Buddhism tends towards the non-theistic. At its radical end, it also disputes the existence of the separate self, and even the world.

But there are certainly some interesting publications which straddle the two, for example, Thomas Merton is often cited.

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Tortuf
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Buddhist missionaries did indeed trawl through the Middle East and surrounds. Remember the Taliban (great bunch of guys) blew up the two Buddha statues in Afghanistan. Somebody put them there.
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Jay-Emm
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I believe going the other way the Budda was [almost] canonised [Looking it up, as Saint Josaphat]. This, of course required some incorrect assumptions*

*Not that type.

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quetzalcoatl
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I think Ashoka was a great missionary sender, 270BC, but I don't know if there are any accounts of them written down. I wonder if any Roman writer mentions them?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Jay-Emm:
I believe going the other way the Budda was [almost] canonised [Looking it up, as Saint Josaphat]. This, of course required some incorrect assumptions*

*Not that type.

Barlaam and Josaphat were very popular saints during the middle ages. Perhaps his metastory (the de-facto canonization & popularity) shows something about the whole concept of veneration of the saints. Or perhaps it shows people like a good story when they hear one. I think the phenomenon is fascinating.

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quetzalcoatl
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I was involved in a terrific Zen community for about ten years, and people in it spun off in all directions. Anyway, a friend joined a Buddhist monastery, and another friend became a Christian, and another, a Sufi. Well, we found a common language.

One of our teachers used to talk about grace a lot, although not in a Christian sense. Well, Zen talks about 'falling' sometimes, when you let go of an arduous practise, and fall into the non-dual. I think some Christians describe this also, e.g. Meister Eckhart, and de Caussade, 'The Sacrament of the Present Moment'. Self-annihilation, I suppose.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
Apparently they did. There are documents from that period that say exactly that.

Which documents? Where?

I'm afraid I err on the side of scepticism on this one.

The same thing happens in reverse with instances of imagery that is patently Buddhist being seized upon by people who want to believe that they are actually examples of Christian icons in 7th century China.

I think there are overlaps/compatible practices but comparing Christianity and Buddhism is rather like comparing apples and oranges or jazz and blues or an Irish tin whistle with a didgeridoo.

I've only met a small number of Buddhists, including a monk of some rank, and they'd all say the same.

The monk was quite scathing about those who try to syncretise the two, 'They ought to seek to sound the depths of their own faith, to become the best Christians they can possibly be instead of trying to fuse two ways which are incompatible in essence, two entirely different things.'

Intriguingly, this monk is also a poet and I organised a reading for him in London with an inter-faith audience.

The next day I bumped into two guys who'd been at the reading, one Jewish, one Muslim. They'd both enjoyed the reading and the talk / Q&A but both observed, independently, that Buddhism as a concept felt alien to them as it had no concept of the 'personhood' of God.

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leo
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We can learn a lot from Buddhismn, espeically meditation styles and about attachment/sin.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Mousethief wrote:
quote:
Calling Christ ***A*** buddha perhaps, if the concept of a buddha is properly fleshed out. But identifying Christ with Siddhartha Gautama? No. That's crazy talk. Jesus Christ was one specific historical character. Siddhartha Gautama was another. No Christian missionary would conflate them.

No orthodox Christian would. But weren't the Chinese missionaries Nestorian - some at least? That might be worth exploring as an explanation if true.

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Ian Climacus

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Knowing quite a few "Nestorians" [though the term isn't used these days, at least in polite society], I find it difficult to believe these were adhering to the faith. They are quite strong on an historic Jesus, and all the evidence they've told me about the China missionary journeys seems to indicate the orthodox Gospel was brought, though of course local adaptions/explanations may be used. This seems a bit too far for me.
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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Calling Christ ***A*** buddha perhaps, if the concept of a buddha is properly fleshed out. But identifying Christ with Siddhartha Gautama? No. That's crazy talk. Jesus Christ was one specific historical character. Siddhartha Gautama was another. No Christian missionary would conflate them.

I didn't see anything in the quote suggesting that Jesus Christ was being conflated with Siddhartha Gautama.
I don't know a lot about Buddhism, but I don't believe that the word 'Buddha' is invariably used as a proper noun synonymous with the name Siddhartha Gautama.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Ashoka was a great missionary sender, 270BC, but I don't know if there are any accounts of them written down.

He is said to have sent one of his sons as a missionary to Sri Lanka. (No doubt it helped smooth out the succession.)

[ 19. November 2017, 19:32: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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sabine
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I like Thich Nhat Hanh's approach in his book, Living Buddha Living Christ. See below for an overview and review.

http://www.stephaniedebry.com/2015/01/22/my-response-to-living-buddha-living-christ-by-thich-nhat-hanh/

[tried to get that link into SoF format but my phone kept doing strange things...]

sabine

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Calling Christ ***A*** buddha perhaps, if the concept of a buddha is properly fleshed out. But identifying Christ with Siddhartha Gautama? No. That's crazy talk. Jesus Christ was one specific historical character. Siddhartha Gautama was another. No Christian missionary would conflate them.

I didn't see anything in the quote suggesting that Jesus Christ was being conflated with Siddhartha Gautama.
I don't know a lot about Buddhism, but I don't believe that the word 'Buddha' is invariably used as a proper noun synonymous with the name Siddhartha Gautama.

It could be a translation issue, but if you say in English "Jesus was Buddha" you are conflating the two historical characters, but if you say "Jesus was a Buddha" you are saying he was a man of a particular type or category.

Which was what I was trying to say in the post you quoted, but I may not have been clear.

[ 19. November 2017, 21:06: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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Tortuf
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Which documents? Where?

I'm afraid I err on the side of scepticism on this one.

Page 59. fn 71
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Gamaliel
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WTF is fn?

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Tortuf
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Foot note.
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
Foot note.

Which for those of us without access to the book anytime soon says . . . ?

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Tortuf
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It says you are trying to change the topic.
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Tortuf
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The Buddah talked about away of living. Jesus asked us to follow Him on his path. How different were those paths?

Rohr argues that if we can see in a non dual manner we would havea radically better understanding of whatJesus was saying.

The Buddha asked us to see in a non dual manner as well.

How incompatible were they on that issue?

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Anglican_Brat
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The fundamental insight of Buddhism is that there is no "self", there is nothing of lasting value. Liberation then is acceptance of this insight, if there is "no self" that "I" need to cling to, then "I" can detach and live a life, moment by moment.

A certain type of Christianity would have a problem with this insight, namely Christianity that is attached to the idea of an immortal soul.

How important is an immortal soul or a fixed "self" to Christian theology?

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Tortuf
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Not at all for me.

If the qualification for being a Christian is believing in the Christ, there is a lot of room for variations on the theme.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
If the qualification for being a Christian is believing in the Christ, there is a lot of room for variations on the theme.

If that's the qualification for being a Christian, then Muslims are Christians.

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Tortuf
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You and I agree then.
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mousethief

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I doubt very much the Muslims would agree that they are Christians.

[ 20. November 2017, 01:18: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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Net Spinster
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Which documents? Where?

I'm afraid I err on the side of scepticism on this one.

Page 59. fn 71
Which cites as the source

Y. Saeki The Nestorian Documents and Relics in China (2nd edition, Tokyo, 1951), pp. 126-7 and David Scott "Christian Response to Buddhism in Pre-Medieval Times", Numen 32(1): 91-2, 1985 DOI: 10.2307/3269964

The last seems to be worth reading for the discussion at hand (though access is limited)

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Golden Key
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Interesting, Tortuf. IIRC, the Jesuits (much later, of course) worked with the existing beliefs of the Asians to whom they were missionaries.

Personally, I find Christianity and Buddhism to be complementary, at the least. Granted, I've put them together in my own way. I do Insight/Vipassana meditation, and find it extremely helpful. (Might take a look at books by Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Sylvia Boorstein.)

Whether or not Buddhism acknowledges God (in a Supreme Being sense) depends on the type of Buddhism, and perhaps the individual Buddhist.

There are many bodhisattvas, sort of super-saints or small-d deities. Quan Yin, for instance, functions as a merciful helper much like Mary, but has different stories. (A good source is "Bodhisattva of Compassion", by John Blofeld. Scholarly sources, and even personal accounts.)

As far as Christian missionaries making it to the East, and Buddhist missionaries going West: People did travel, voluntarily or otherwise. There was probably a lot going on back then that we've never heard of.

Oh, and another good read: "The Jew In The Lotus", by Joel Kamenetz. It's about the many, many Jews who've gone Buddhist, and why. (Some keep their Jewish traditions, or come back around to practicing them.) Several decades back, Jewish mystical resources (e.g. Kabbalah) weren't readily available. (IIRC, you traditionally had to be 30-something to be allowed to read it.) So they went to Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism. Anyway, it's Joel's account of tracking all this down; comparisons between the Tibetan and Jewish diasporas; and more.


FWIW.

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anteater

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quote:
I have come to believe that the spiritual principals of Buddhism and Christianity are in no way incompatible.
I think it is clear that aspects of Christian teaching are incompatible with aspects of Buddhist teaching, but in both cases there is a range of versions of the religion both in terms of what it teaches specifically and how fiercely people hold to the dogmas.

I find Buddhist teaching very helpful, as a liberal Christian, but I confine myself to westernized Buddhism, which as IngoB (late of this parish and a convert from Buddhism) pointed out many times has little to do with full-on Buddhism as taught in the East, of which there are many varieties.

I assume, with no proof, that those who wish to harmonise the two, see Jesus as a Bodhisattva, which itself is a minority Buddhist belief.

Whenever I get into the metaphysics underlying Buddhism I quickly give up as there is too much detailed metaphysical speculation for me.

The main areas of disconnect are:

1. The idea of individuals as continuing and united by love, rather than all being part of The One.

2. The idea that the final goal is not Enlightenment but The Kingdom of God which means Social Justice for all God's Creation.

Where Buddhism scores for me is in it's emphasis on the work needed to discipline our thoughts and attitudes and the need for skillful, not just sincere, living. There are, of course, Christians just as concerned with this and with Spiritual Discipline, but there is also a "leave it to God" side which is rather in the ascendant just now.

What FWIW my Dearly Beloved objects to in Buddhism is it's emphasis on Detachment.

The good side is where it teaches us to be a whole lot less interested in our own thoughts and here it does teach connectedness with the real world rather than our own thoughts which very often are just obsessive valueless ramblings and phantasies. This, in a sentence, is mindfulness.

It's when it teaches detachment from suffering and grief that it gets more controversial, but I see it as no more than the typically CBT/REBT emphasis on avoiding making anything an absolute need without which life becomes awful.

But it does tend to justify low empathy.

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Adeodatus
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I think my first question here would be “which Buddhism”? There are many.

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fletcher christian

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The ethical approaches between Christianity and Buddhism are strongly similar but to me there seems one crucial fundamental difference (philosophically speaking rather than in theological detail). Buddhism teaches detachment to gain enlightenment through the avoidance of suffering (bad terms I know, but this will run pages otherwise). Christianity in its essence embraces suffering for the sake of its redemption and enlightenment. Due to this fundamental difference of approach, while it may be possible to see striking similarities in lots of things and find common ground, Buddhism and Christianity remain fundamentally different. At least, this is the impression I keep coming away with every time I encounter Buddhism in any meaningful way (of various types). It's very possible of course that I'm missing a lot more because I'm not penetrating it deeply enough.

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la vie en rouge
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
Rohr argues that if we can see in a non dual manner we would havea radically better understanding of whatJesus was saying.

The Buddha asked us to see in a non dual manner as well.

I don’t think seeing in a non-dual manner is uniquely Buddhist. Jewish culture is also non-binary.

The binary oppositions that much of Western thought rests upon (alive/dead; male/female; master/slave; body/spirit) come from Greek philosophy. Jewish/Hebraic thought, OTOH, has always been more comfortable with the idea of paradoxes which are to be held in tension. It seems much more plausible to me to ascribe the non-binary elements of Jesus’ thought to his being a Jew than to his being some kind of Buddhist.

(Slight tangent: the great challenger of binarism in more recent times was Jacques Derrida. An atheist, but most definitely a Jewish atheist.)

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quetzalcoatl
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Depends on what you mean by non-dual. In many mystics, e.g. 'The Cloud of Unknowing', there is a loss of ego, and even a loss of knowledge of God, since these are held to be barriers to transcendence . This is quite similar to some parts of Buddhism. It's the seeking subject which impels you into hell, since it divides the world into mine and thine.

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Tortuf
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I don't see Buddhism and Christianity (pick another religion) as being alike in particulars. I see them as being alike in goals.

Transcending self as separate is one of those goals that I see common to both.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
I don't see Buddhism and Christianity (pick another religion) as being alike in particulars. I see them as being alike in goals.

Transcending self as separate is one of those goals that I see common to both.

Yes, I've always seen it like this, but I think a lot of Christians don't. I mean, they may pay lip service to the idea of transcending self, but not in the radical sense, that you get in Buddhism, 'neither the self nor the world exists'. Too scary, isn't it?

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
It says you are trying to change the topic.

Huh? How is it changing the topic? You said there are documents supporting the assertion in your OP. When asked to identify those documents, you provided a citation to a footnote in a book, rather than telling us what documents are identified in that footnote. Seems directly on topic to me to ask you to identify the document(s) you’re referring to/relying on.

Meanwhile, thanks Net Spinster.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Bostonman
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The "Nestorian Stele" would be a helpful example of documentation of the more-clearly-orthodox Church of the East mission to China.

The Wikipedia article notes:
quote:
There are also two much later stelae (from 960 and 1365) presenting a curious mix of Christian and Buddhist aspects, which are preserved at the site of the former Monastery of the cross in the Fangshan District, near Beijing.
And cites Moule, A. C. (1930). Christians in China before the year 1550. London: SPCK. pp. 86−89.

I don't find it at all remarkable that an attempt by Persian missionaries to render the gospel from Aramaic into a Chinese language and culture would incorporate significant local religious vocabulary, but am not convinced that including some Buddhist concepts would mean it was endorsing Buddhist ideas. Consider by comparison the relationship between Islam or western Christianity and Aristotelianism, or Christianity in general with Platonism—adopting elements of these philosophies in order to express the gospel is far from abandoning Christianity.

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Gamaliel
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Yes, I'm with Bostonman.

Parallels and some overlaps in intention certainly, to some extent, but not exact compatibility.

That isn't necessarily a value judgement.

Germans and Italians are both Europeans but they also have cultural and other differences.

Buddhism, as far as I am aware, is essentially non-theistic - or at least conceives of the divine in a very different way to the Judeo-Christian tradition.

So any parallels and complementary aspects can only go so far.

That's not to rubbish it or slag it off, far from it, it's simply to acknowledge where the fundamental difference lies.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Knowing quite a few "Nestorians" [though the term isn't used these days, at least in polite society], I find it difficult to believe these were adhering to the faith. They are quite strong on an historic Jesus, and all the evidence they've told me about the China missionary journeys seems to indicate the orthodox Gospel was brought, though of course local adaptions/explanations may be used. This seems a bit too far for me.

I suspect your Nestorians are originally from the Middle East, originally. They are not, therefore, evidence for how Nestorian Christianity evolved in China. You've basically got two communities with a common source, located at either end of Asia. One stayed much the same over the centuries and the other, exposed to a different culture, didn't.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Ah, I was about to reply with something similar, Callan. I do take the point about using the word "Nestorian" for current churches of the east, but as well as the issue highlighted, they have also gone through cycles and are not necessarily to be directly equated with what went before without the risk of presentism. I'm at a loss what else to call them. Whether the suggestion was right though I don't know - I just put the idea out for consideration.

Bostonman wrote:
quote:
I don't find it at all remarkable that an attempt by Persian missionaries to render the gospel from Aramaic into a Chinese language and culture would incorporate significant local religious vocabulary, but am not convinced that including some Buddhist concepts would mean it was endorsing Buddhist ideas. Consider by comparison the relationship between Islam or western Christianity and Aristotelianism, or Christianity in general with Platonism—adopting elements of these philosophies in order to express the gospel is far from abandoning Christianity.
John Zizioulas addresses this issue in an essay in "Being as Communion". Basically he agrees, the acid test being whether distinctives are maintained. Provided they are, then - fine.

[ 20. November 2017, 16:02: Message edited by: Honest Ron Bacardi ]

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
In practical terms they are compatible, since certain areas of Buddhism require no beliefs, and the practice of compassion is common to both, but of course,

Commonality is not compatibility.
quote:

Buddhism tends towards the non-theistic.

Non-thiesm means that god(s) are not the point. Traditions vary about their existence and purpose, but they are not necessary. This is the opposite of Christianity. My favourite quote about dropping GOD into Buddhism is that he has nothing to do.
IMO, the non-salvation bits of Jesus' teaching are very compatible with Buddhism. Jesus would have made a terrific bodhisattva. However, the salvation bits, not to mention the problematic OT, put a sharp line between Buddhism and Christianity.
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

I think there are overlaps/compatible practices but comparing Christianity and Buddhism is rather like comparing apples and oranges or jazz and blues or an Irish tin whistle with a didgeridoo.

Pedantic note: Jazz and Blues share much more than either of your other examples.

quote:

The monk was quite scathing about those who try to syncretise the two, 'They ought to seek to sound the depths of their own faith, to become the best Christians they can possibly be instead of trying to fuse two ways which are incompatible in essence, two entirely different things.'

I think this is an overstatement, but it isn't wrong. Christianity has its own contemplative traditions, which is the bit that draws some to Buddhism. IME/IMO anyway.
Whilst I believe the overemphasis of self in Christianity is harmful, and I do think a degree of separation from self is evident in Jesus' teaching, it is not to the level generally thought of in Buddhism.
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

I find Buddhist teaching very helpful, as a liberal Christian, but I confine myself to westernized Buddhism, which as IngoB (late of this parish and a convert from Buddhism) pointed out many times has little to do with full-on Buddhism as taught in the East, of which there are many varieties.

Buddhism in the west ≠ westernised Buddhism. However, Theravada/Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhism practised in the east often differs from the same practised in the west. Culture informs religion and, often, this forms a barrier between adherents.
Buddhism also has the same issue as any other religion in that the practices can be at odds with the essentials of the original teachings. And the arguments of what that exactly means.

[ 20. November 2017, 16:07: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Gamaliel
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I'm glad lilBuddha's come along as it's always best to hear from an adherent of a particular religion or ideological system rather than those who simply appropriate elements of it in a mix'n'match kind of way ...

On the pedantic point, yes, I'm well aware that jazz and blues are more closely related than the other things on my list. I wanted a list that had some similar elements as well as dissimilar - such as 'chalk and cheese'.

At any rate, what lilBuddha writes chimes with what I've heard from the Buddhist monk I mentioned and one or two other Buddhists I've met over the years.

We always have to be careful that we are comparing like with like.

Both Hindus and Christians fast, for instance, does that mean that they intend to achieve the same 'results' or have the same expectations?

I agree with lilBuddha that the 'non-salvific' aspects of Christianity do resonate with aspects of Buddhist concern and practice.

But as lilBuddha also says, 'Commonality is not compatibility.'

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Anglican_Brat
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The "Saviour" concept in Mahayana Buddhism can be compatible with Christianity, bearing in mind, that Buddhist philosophy may be at odds with what some lay Buddhists practice.

Lay Buddhists may ask the Buddha for blessing for increased wealth and happiness, even though Buddha condemned materialism, not much different than Christians praying to Jesus to win the lottery or receive a raise.

Devotion to the Buddhas leads not necessarily to existential salvation after death, but to an increased compassion for all beings. Applying this to Christianity, worshipping Jesus is IMHO not about a lottery ticket to heaven or to wealth or blessing for one's own sake, but to develop compassion for all beings. To worship the Father, brings us to see the world through the Father's eyes, through the eyes of infinite, compassionate love.

[ 20. November 2017, 16:59: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
The "Saviour" concept in Mahayana Buddhism can be compatible with Christianity,

Not in my understanding. In Christianity, the salvation is through Jesus. in Buddhism, it is through the teaching, not the teacher. Some forms of Buddhism do speak of someone who will teach the pure dharma, but they are not necessary for enlightenment.*
quote:

Lay Buddhists may ask the Buddha for blessing for increased wealth and happiness, even though Buddha condemned materialism, not much different than Christians praying to Jesus to win the lottery or receive a raise.

And both are wrong.
quote:

Devotion to the Buddhas leads not necessarily to existential salvation after death, but to an increased compassion for all beings. Applying this to Christianity, worshipping Jesus is IMHO not about a lottery ticket to heaven or to wealth or blessing for one's own sake, but to develop compassion for all beings. To worship the Father, brings us to see the world through the Father's eyes, through the eyes of infinite, compassionate love.

Both paths run in parallel here, yes. However, they do not have the same destination.

*The understanding of which is a whole other topic.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Non-thiesm means that god(s) are not the point. Traditions vary about their existence and purpose, but they are not necessary. This is the opposite of Christianity. My favourite quote about dropping GOD into Buddhism is that he has nothing to do.

How is that a problem? The idea that God is a thing that needs something to do is a misunderstanding of Christian (and Muslim and Jewish and Sikh) theology.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Non-thiesm means that god(s) are not the point. Traditions vary about their existence and purpose, but they are not necessary. This is the opposite of Christianity. My favourite quote about dropping GOD into Buddhism is that he has nothing to do.

How is that a problem? The idea that God is a thing that needs something to do is a misunderstanding of Christian (and Muslim and Jewish and Sikh) theology.
Does it clarify if I say God has no point or purpose in Buddhism?
ISTM, even outside of an internationalist idea of God, his existence is an active force. Unless one is a deist, I suppose.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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