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Modern Buddhism - Research Paper Example

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Professor Name Religion and Theology 17 April 2012 Modern Buddhism At the moment, Buddhism, despite the turmoil it endured in the 20th century, is one of the largest religions in the world with about 800 million followers, most of whom live in East and Southeast Asia…
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Modern Buddhism Research Paper
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Modern Buddhism

Download file to see previous pages... Certain fragments of Buddhism became a part of the mainstream, turned into a politically correct element of Hellenic Polytheism of the postmodern age. It’s a wonder, but many forms of the modified Western Buddhism have become the norm: they are re-exported to Asia and, to some extent, change cultures in Buddhist countries. Global Buddhism was the result of western penetration in Asia and western understanding of Asia. Buddhism gradually transformed into a global intellectual and spiritual resource, open to universal use. This paper is focused on the history of Buddhism, its transformation and western variant, spiritual and political leaders. Buddhism is practiced by 6-8% of the world population, which is much inferior to Christianity (about 33%), Islam (about 18%) and Hinduism (approximately 13%). Buddhism is mostly Asian religion: 99 % of Buddhists live in Asia, in the eastern part of it. General periodization of the history of Buddhism includes 4 stages: 1) canonical Buddhism (from its origin in the 6th millennium BC to the reign of Ashoka Maurya (3 BC)); 2) traditional or historical Buddhism (from Ashoka to the mid / late 19th century); 3) modern or revival Buddhism (from the late 19th century); and, finally, 4) global Buddhism. ...
They are well distinguished if contrasted to a dynamic segment. This contrast can be seen on the example of separation of western Buddhist communities into originally born Buddhists and converts. Tension between ethnic groups and neophytes is so obvious that many suggest existence of two branches of Western Buddhism - traditional, passive Buddhism of ethnic diasporas and dynamic, active Western Buddhism of neophytes. Buddhism in Europe was popularized by the Hungarian Tibetologist Alexander Csoma de Koros (1784-1842) and French Indologist Eugene Burnouf (1801-1852). Choma de Koros was just a lone researcher. Burnouf managed to create one of the most powerful Buddhist schools in the world. Burnouf studied Mahayana, translated and published Saddharma Pundarika Sutra in 1852. His main work is Introduction to the History of Indian Buddhism (1844). It contains translations of Sanskrit texts, as well as the first characteristics of Maha-Prajna-Paramita and Lankavatara sutras. He considered that the main benefit of Buddhism study is its contrast with Christianity thanks to which we can better understand the latter. Modern Buddhism became popular and widespread in America thanks to the Beat Generation and the Hippies who happily practiced this peaceful religion. The very combination of words “Buddhistic fundamentalism” seems irrelevant: compared with the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism has no concept of dogma, orthodoxy and heresy. Buddhism has no ontological dualism of righteousness and sin and, therefore, there is no sharp division into believers and disbelievers, chosen ones and infidels; there is no division of the world into dar-al Islam and Dar al Harb (territory of peace and territory of war). Buddhism does not claim a monopoly on truth. That’s why ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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