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What Is Buddhist Enlightenment?$
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Dale S. Wright

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190622596

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190622596.001.0001

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Secular Buddhism and the Religious Dimension of Enlightenment

Secular Buddhism and the Religious Dimension of Enlightenment

(p.45) 3 Secular Buddhism and the Religious Dimension of Enlightenment
What Is Buddhist Enlightenment?

Dale S. Wright

Oxford University Press

“Secular Buddhism and the Religious Dimension of Enlightenment” follows Stephen Batchelor’s impressive effort to articulate what Buddhist awakening might mean in the current secular culture. Assessing the issues that have prompted the creation of a new nonsectarian “secular Buddhism,” this chapter raises questions about whether this form of secularity nevertheless continues to carry religious meaning as its most fundamental motivation. Reflecting on the possibility of nontheistic forms of religious practice and experience, it links insights in contemporary Western religious thought to the a-theism that runs throughout the Buddhist tradition in order to further inquiry into the qualities and character that Buddhist enlightenment might take under contemporary, secularized conditions. The chapter aspires to cultivate insight into the inevitable relationship between religiosity and any quest for enlightenment and aims to stimulate reflection on what religion might be in our time.

Keywords:   secular Buddhism, Stephen Batchelor, nontheistic, Western religious thought, religion

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