Secular Buddhism (Part I)

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For decades a growing number of lay individuals and groups have been practising, studying and teaching the dharma outside Buddhist institutions, and without rituals and received beliefs. More recently some of those involved have claimed -- or had affixed to them -- the 'Secular Buddhism' label. And they have thereby attracted considerable criticism from those claiming to represent and defend 'true' Buddhism. So what is secular Buddhism all about? It's not a school, still less an orthodoxy, but can we discern some major themes that might make the label meaningful and allow for informed evaluation?
So far the debate has generated a great deal of heat (and bad manners), but very little light. During the evening we intend to remedy that by exploring this emerging secular tendency and its relation to older forms of Buddhism in a spirit of mutually respectful inquiry, so that we might learn from each other.

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