The excavations showed that older wooden structures lay beneath the walls of the later brick Buddhist shrine. The layout of that more recent shrine duplicates the layout of the earlier wooden structures, pointing to a continuity of Buddhist worship at the site, Coningham says.
“The big debate has been about when the Buddha lived and now we have a shrine structure pointing to the sixth century B.C.,” Coningham says. The team used two kinds of scientific dating to find the age of the early shrine.
I wrote this a couple of years ago. Given the current atmosphere of (in)tolerance that seems to pervade America, I thought it might be appropriate to link back to it.
I believe it is fine to debate religious ideas, within reason, but debate is always with the consent of both sides. It is not accomplished with bludgeons on unwilling participants. We need to understand that when people’s core beliefs are threatened, they become defensive and inflexible regardless of the content of those beliefs….
American Buddhism’s numbers are booming. Published just over three years ago, an American Religious Identification Survey survey showed that from the years 1990 to 2000, Buddhism grew 170 percent in North America. By all indications that remarkable rate of growth continues unabated.
Why is a faith founded under a Bodhi tree in India 2,500 years ago enjoying a newfound popularity in America today?
If we believe in a loving god who cares what happens to us, looks after us, and answers prayers, the peace that our belief brings will unquestionably be a great support in recovery. On the other hand, if we believe that a god will take care of us simply because we ask, without our putting any effort into our recovery process, then it is quite possible that believing could hinder our recovery. Likewise, if we were raised to believe in a harsh, punishing god who will make us pay for our transgressions, we may find that we are emotionally unable to deal with the implications and may so totally reject the “God Thing” (as many of us call it) that we end up throwing our recovery out with our religious beliefs.
[Please read the rest of the article before commenting.]
Science does itself a disservice if it pretends to be capable of answering all meaningful questions. Religion likewise sabotages itself when it dismisses findings of science in favor of pretty myths. To be truly powerful, both science and religion need to change and grow, hand in hand. Truth is more nearly to be found in unity of intellect and emotion, or unity of self and non-self. It is in that elusive place of balance where we become aware that the essences of things are not one way or another.
White, David M (2010-11-26). Zen Birding (p. 9). O-Books. Kindle Edition.
The controversy over a Thai Buddhist nun successfully petitioning an Indian court to gain control of a temple has raised broader questions surrounding the administration of temples overseas. It has also highlighted the ambiguous role nuns, or mae chi, face within the structure of Buddhism in Thailand.
Three of the top 5 happiest nations, according to a recent poll, are also among the top ten least religious.