Secularizing Buddhism

New Perspectives on a Dynamic Tradition

Edited by Richard K. Payne
By Sarah Shaw
By Kate Crosby
By Roger R. Jackson
By Gil Fronsdal
By Charles B. Jones
By Bhikkhu Bodhi
By David McMahan
By Philille Turenne

- Paperback
Shambhala Publications
Pages: 360
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781611808896

How do secular values impact Buddhism in the modern world? What versions of Buddhism are being transmitted to the West? Is it possible to know whether an interpretation of the Buddha’s words is correct?

In this new essay collection, opposing ideas that often define Buddhist communities—secular versus religious, modern versus traditional, Western versus Eastern—are unpacked and critically examined. These reflections by contemporary scholars and practitioners reveal the dynamic process of reinterpreting and reimagining Buddhism in secular contexts, from the mindfulness movement to Buddhist shrine displays in museums, to whether rebirth is an essential belief.

This collection explores a wide range of modern understandings of Buddhism—whether it is considered a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle choice—and questions if secular Buddhism is purely a Western invention, offering a timely contribution to an ever-evolving discussion.

Contributors include Bhikkhu Bodhi, Kate Crosby, Gil Fronsdal, Kathleen Gregory, Funie Hsu, Roger R. Jackson, Charles B. Jones, David L. McMahan, Richard K. Payne, Ron Purser, Sarah Shaw, Philippe Turenne, and Pamela D. Winfield.