A growing number of people describe themselves as both Buddhist and Christian; but does such a self-description really make sense? Many people involved in inter-faith dialogue argue that this dialogue leads to a mutually transformative process, but what if the transformation reaches the point where the Buddhist or Christian becomes a Buddhist Christian? Does this represent a fulfilment of or the undermining of dialogue? Exploring the growing phenomenon of Buddhist-Christian dual belonging, a wide variety of authors including advocates, sympathisers and opponents from both faiths, focus on three key questions: Can Christian and Buddhist accounts and practices of salvation or liberation be reconciled? Are Christian theism and Buddhist non-theism compatible? And does dual belonging inevitably distort the essence of these faiths, or merely change its cultural expression? Clarifying different ways of justifying dual belonging, contributors offer criticisms of dual belonging from different religious perspectives (Theravada Buddhist, Evangelical Reformed and Roman Catholic) and from different methodological approaches. Four chapters then carry the discussion forward suggesting ways in which dual belonging might make sense from Catholic, Theravada Buddhist, Pure-land Buddhist and Anglican perspectives. The conclusion clarifies the main challenges emerging for dual belongers, and the implications for interreligious dialogue.
"Provides an excellent and truly ground-breaking resource for reflection on inter-faith relations." - Keith Ward, Heythrop College, UK
"Buddhist-Christian Dual Belonging convenes a serious conversation among experienced scholars committed to thinking through the very idea of dual belonging. Every pro and con is taken seriously, benefits and drawbacks noted, and little goes unchallenged. Important Christian voices are heard while, refreshingly, Buddhists participate fully in the debate. These illuminating essays will be a resource in the ongoing conversation among religious scholars and practitioners in every tradition." - Francis X Clooney, SJ, Harvard University, USA
"This volume brings much-needed clarity, depth, and rigor to emerging debates over dual religious belonging. Even as the essays challenge or affirm the phenomenon of dual belonging from distinct angles, they cohere as a single, densely woven conversation. As a whole, the book maps the lay of the land by marking contested sites such as the nature of religion, the nature of faith, and what it means to belong to a community." - Michelle Voss Roberts, Wake Forest University, USA
Introduction Ross Thompson and Gavin D'Costa Part I: Affirmations Chapter 1: Chasing Two Rabbits? Dual Belonging and the Question of Salvation/Liberation Rose Drew Chapter 2: The Question of Salvation/Liberation: A Double-Belonger's Perspective Paul F. Knitter Chapter 3: Creation, Dependent Arising and Dual Belonging Ross Thompson Part II: Challenges Chapter 4: 'There Can Only Be One:' The Impossibility and Idolatry of 'Dual Belonging' Daniel Strange Chapter 5: The Ultimate Buddhist Religious Goal, Nirvana and its Implications for Buddhist-Christian Dual Belonging Asanga Tilakaratne Chapter 6: A Roman Catholic approach to Buddhist-Catholic 'dual-belonging' Gavin D'Costa Chapter 7: Dual Belonging, Ritual and the Spiritual Revolution Marianne Moyaert Chapter 8: Strategies of Negotiation in Buddhist-Christian Dual Belonging Catherine Cornille Part III: Explorations Chapter 9: An alternative concetion of multiple religious belonging: A Buddhist-Catholic perspective Abraham Vélez de Cea Chapter 10: The Buddhist Faith of Non-Buddhists: from dual belonging to dual attachment Rupert Gethin Chapter 11: Dual-belonging and Pure Land Buddhism Caroline Brazier Chapter 12: Going Beyond the Creator God: an Apophatic approach to Buddhist-Christian Dual Religious Belonging J. P. Williams Conclusion Ross Thompson and Gavin D'Costa