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1. The Buddha and the Diversity of Spiritual Paths

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1. Title Title of document 1. The Buddha and the Diversity of Spiritual Paths - Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Bhikkhu Bodhi; Chuang Yen Monastery, New York ;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) Theravādin Buddhism; Tibetan Buddhism; Buddhist tradition; Buddhist attitude; Buddhism in relation to other religions; tolerance in Buddhism
5. Subject Subject classification Buddhist Studies
6. Description Abstract This chapter contends that the historical Buddha is best understood as advocating an exclusivist view of other religions. Contrary to common belief, the Buddha, as represented by the Pali Nikāyas and their parallels, did not subscribe to the view that the ultimate goal of the spiritual life could be attained through diverse spiritual paths but rather that the ultimate goal is accessible solely through the noble eightfold path, the distinctive discovery of the sammā-sambuddhas, those who attain perfect enlightenment. Nevertheless, through the centuries Buddhism has displayed an impressive tolerance in its relationship to other faiths. The chapter explains this apparently paradoxical attitude on the basis of a dual perspective that the Buddha adopts on the diversity of spiritual paths. On the one hand, he asserts that the eightfold path is the sole means to the final goal of the spiritual life, irreversible release from the cycle of repeated birth and death. At the same time the cosmology of Early Buddhism allows a more accommodative stance according to which the provisional goal of the spiritual life, the achievement of a blissful rebirth, is not exclusive to the Buddha’s teaching but can be reached through other faith commitments.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 05-Aug-2020
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.38389
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Buddhist Responses to Religious Diversity
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd