The world evolves and revolves making everything change. Buddhism is not an exception. With the ruling role of globalization and everything what comes with it, Buddhism has met the modern state of religion facing new problems and searching for new answers. Buddhist modernism is a new milestone in the process of development in Buddhist history that lasts about two centuries. What is modern Buddhism and what is its role in the modern society?
Buddhism is not just a religion that exists in the modern world, but “forms of Buddhism that have emerged out of an engagement with the dominant cultural and intellectual forces of modernity” (McMahan 6). The United States play important role in the process of innovating the religion. The most eminent Buddhist teachers, e.g. Pema Chodron, work in the US, while the country serves as the melting pot of innovative concepts with further adaptations to the globalized arena.
Nowadays, Buddhism differs from the older notion in several concepts. The external transcendent shifts towards internal self, mythology plays minor role, and psychology finds particular reflection in the religion. The dialogue between the past and present gives rise of new “networks of meaning, value, and power” (McMahan 62). Initially, Buddhism was considered quite passive in terms of social engagement. However, within the last two centuries, when the modern state of the religion developed, a higher level of engagement is tracked. Buddhists pose front lines while challenging such social concerns as war or environmental problems. Along with other dominating religions, mainly Christianity, the practitioners are also committed to particular activities aimed at alleviating the life of poor or disadvantaged (Stanley 2012).
The current state of the religion underlines the role of individuals with the shift from mythological basics. Modern Buddhism means that the whole world matters and engagement in the processes with particular tasks saves the world in tune with the fundamentals of Buddhism.
- McMahan, David L. The Making of Buddhist Modernism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.
- Stanley, Steven. “From Discourse to Awareness: Rhetoric, Mindfulness, and a Psychology without Foundations.” Theory & Psychology 23.1 (2012): 60-80. Research Gate. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.