As some readers of this journal may be unfamiliar with the term “apologetics,” let me begin by introducing the basic concept. Far from an expression of remorse over past actions, apologetics in religion hear- kens back to the older meaning of the Greek apologia as a legal defense against accusations. In Christianity, it became a branch of theology concerned with…
Category: Series Four Volume 2
Presenting the Dharma Essence in an American Vocabulary: Apologetic Strategies in the Writings of Jon Kabat-Zinn
By first tracing the development of Kabat-Zinn’s understanding and placing it within the broader intellectual context of Buddhist modernism, this paper demonstrates the logic at work in Kabat-Zinn’s apologetic strategy for MBSR.
Good Begets Good: Buddhist Apologies for Merit in Medieval China, ca. 580
This study brings into focus the political context and rhetorical strategies of Buddhist apologetics through the hitherto understudied case of the anti-Buddhist dismissal of merit. In sixth-century China, Buddhist proponents frequently encountered skeptics calling the karmic theory of merit a hoax.
Buddhism and Superstition: Buddhist Apologetics in the Anti-Superstition Campaigns in Modern China
The paper shows that Buddhist authors actively engaged with these new discourses to articulate their actual beliefs and practices. Differentiating the Buddhist “true faith” (zhengxin 正信) from “deluded faith” (mixin 迷 信), they tried to defend Buddhism from the accusation of spread- ing superstition. To promote the relevance of Buddhism in public life, they advocated for Buddhism’s role in advancing education and social welfare.