The Roots of Interbeing: Buddhist Revival in Vietnam

To renowned Buddhologist Heinz Bechert, Buddhist modernism was a manifestation of religious revivalism applied to the context of post-colonial society, bearing the following features which are relevant for the current discussion, amongst others: (1) an emphasis on Buddhism as a philosophy, rather than a creed or a religion; (2) an emphasis on ‘activism’ and setting great store by social work; (3) the claim by modernists that Buddhism has always included a social component described as a philosophy of equality…and that a Buddhist society must be democratic; (4) the emergence of Buddhist nationalism; (5) a strong tendency towards the reassertion of women’s rights in contemporary Buddhism and attempts and actions taken to restore the order of nuns; (6) the emergence of a new type of Buddhist syncretism, viz., the combination of various Buddhist traditions (comp. 213-214, Bechert’s Obituary, 2011)
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