Buddhism and Religious Diversity

Edited by Perry Schmidt-Leukel

© 2013 – Routledge

1,512 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415525343
pub: 2012-09-27
US Dollars$1430.00

About the Book

In today’s globalized world, religious diversity has become one of the strongest challenges to the self-understanding of any major religious tradition, provoking two interdependent questions. How does it see itself in the light of others? And, how does it see others in the light of its own teachings? While the Abrahamic religions are often accused of a predominantly intolerant and exclusivistic attitude to the religious ‘other’, Eastern religions—and Buddhism in particular—enjoy the reputation of being naturally tolerant, absorbing, and even pluralistic towards competing faiths. Some thinkers (from David Hume to Jan Assmann) understood religious intolerance as an inevitable property of monotheism, supposedly absent in the case of non-theistic or polytheistic religions. More recent research, however, has suggested that this impression, part of a whole cluster of Western clichés, is false. Buddhism is—and has been—as much convinced of its own superiority as any other faith, and has also been involved in various inter-religious tensions and violent conflicts. The ways, however, in which Buddhists have thought about the religious ‘other’, and practically dealt with it, display peculiar features, which do indeed differ profoundly from what we find in the Abrahamic faiths. Yet today, Buddhism must address the question whether it can arrive at a genuine appreciation of religious diversity, and recognize other religions as different but nevertheless equally valid.

This new four-volume collection from Routledge’s acclaimed Critical Concepts in Religious Studies series enables users to make sense of this and other dizzying questions. It brings together the best thinking on Buddhism’s relationship with other faiths and provides a one-stop collection of classic and contemporary contributions to facilitate ready access to the most influential and important scholarship.

Fully indexed and with a general and volume introductions, newly written by the editor, which carefully locate the collected materials in their historical and intellectual context, Buddhism and Religious Diversity is an essential work of reference. It is destined to be valued by specialists and scholars working in related areas as a vital research tool.

Table of Contents


Perry Schmidt-Leukel, ‘Buddhism and Religious Diversity’ (General Introduction) and ‘Buddhism’s Encounter and Interaction with Eastern Religions’ (Introduction to Volume I).

1. Perry Schmidt-Leukel ‘Buddhist-Hindu Relations’, in Schmidt-Leukel (ed.), Buddhist Attitudes to Other Religions (EOS-Verlag, 2008), pp. 143–71.

2. Ernst Steinkellner, ‘Hindu Doctrines of Creation and Their Buddhist Critiques’, in P. Schmidt-Leukel (ed.), Buddhism, Christianity and the Question of Creation (Ashgate, 2006), pp. 15–31.

3. Tiruppattur Rameseshayyar Venkatachala Murti, ‘Saṁvṛti and Paramārtha in Mādhyamika and Advaita Vedānta’, in M. Sprung (ed.), The Problem of the Two Truths in Buddhism and Vedānta (D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1973), pp. 9–26.

4. David Loy, ‘Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?’, International Philosophical Quarterly, 1982, 22, 1, 65–74.

5. Uma Chakravarti, ‘Of Binaries and Beyond: The Dialectics of Buddhist-Brahmanical Relations in India’, Religions of South Asia, 2009, 3, 1, 7–23.

6. Johannes Beltz, ‘Contesting Caste, Hierarchy, and Hinduism: Buddhist Discursive Practices in Maharashtra’, in J. Beltz (ed.), Reconstructing the World: B. R. Ambedkar and Buddhism in India (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 245–66.

7. Krishna B. Bhattachan, ‘Nepalese Buddhists’ View of Hinduism’, in J. D. Gort, H. Jansen, and H. M. Vroom (eds.), Religions View Religions: Explorations in Pursuit of Understanding (Rodopi, 2006), pp. 227–39.

8. John Clifford Holt, ‘The Hindu Buddha and the Buddhist Vishnu: Religious Transformations in India and Sri Lanka’ (2000).

9. Anagarika Dharmapala, ‘Buddhism in its Relationship with Hinduism’, in A. Guruge (ed.), Return to Righteousness: A Collection of Speeches, Essays and Letters of the Anagarika Dharmapala (Government Press, 1965), pp. 351–63.

10. Lal Mani Joshi, Discerning the Buddha: A Study of Buddhism and of the Brahmanical Hindu Attitude to It (Munshiram Manoharlal, 1983), pp. xii–xxii.

11. Jamie Hubbard, ‘Buddhist-Buddhist Dialogue? The Lotus Sutra and the Polemic of Accommodation’, Buddhist-Christian Studies, 1995, 15, 119–36.

12. Yong-pyo Kim, ‘An Intra-Buddhist Dialogue between Theravāda and Mahāyāna: A Hermeneutical Search for Common Unity’, International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture, 2003, 3, 145–67.

13. Arthur F. Wright, ‘Buddhism and Chinese Culture: Phases of Interaction’, Journal of Asian Studies, 1957, 17, 1, 17–42.

14. Timothy H. Barrett, ‘The Advent of the Buddhist Concept of Religion in China and its Consequences for the Analysis of Daoism’, Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, 2009, 9, 2, 149–65.

15. Imre Hamar, ‘Buddhism and the Dao in Tang China’, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scienciarum Hungaricae, 2000, 52, 3–4, 283–93.

16. Peter N. Gregory, Inquiry into the Origin of Humanity. An Annotated Translation of Tsung-mi’s Yüan jen lun with a Modern Commentary (University of Hawai’i Press, 1995), pp. 74–104.

17. Timothy Brook, ‘Rethinking Syncretism: The Unity of the Three Teachings and Their Joint Worship in Late-Imperial China’, Journal of Chinese Religions, 1993, 21, 13–44.

18. James Huntley Grayson, ‘Religious Syncretism in the Silla Period: The Relationship Between Esoteric Buddhism and Korean Primeval Religion’, Asian Folklore Studies, 1984, 43, 2, 185–98.

19. Mark Teeuwen and Fabio Rambelli, ‘Combinatory Religion and the Honji Suijaku Paradigm in Pre-Modern Japan’, in Teeuwen and Rambelli (eds.), Buddhas and Kami in Japan (Routledge Curzon, 2003), pp. 7–42.

20. Janine Anderson Sawada, ‘Religious Conflict in Bakumatsu Japan: Zen Master Imakita Kōsen and Confucian Scholar Higashi Takusha’, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 1994, 21, 2–3, 211–30.

21. Jan van Bragt, ‘Multiple Religious Belonging of the Japanese People’, in C. Cornille (ed.), Many Mansions? Multiple Religious Belonging and Christian Identity (Orbis, 2002), pp. 7–19.


Perry Schmidt-Leukel, ‘Buddhism’s Encounter and Interaction with Christianity’ (Introduction to Volume II).

22. Hans-Joachim Klimkeit ‘Christian-Buddhist Encounter in Medieval Central Asia’, in G. W. Houston (ed.), The Cross and the Lotus: Christianity and Buddhism in Dialogue (Motilal Banarsidass, 1985), pp. 9–24.

23. Monika Schrimpf, ‘The Pro- and Anti-Christian Writings of Fukan Fabian (1565–1621)’, Japanese Religions, 2008, 33, 35–54.

24. Iso Kern, ‘Buddhist Perceptions of Jesus and Christianity in the Early Buddhist-Christian Controversies in China During the 17th Century’, in P. Schmidt-Leukel (ed.), Buddhist Perceptions of Jesus (EOS Verlag, 2001), pp. 32–41.

25. Kitsiri Malalgoda, ‘The Buddhist-Christian Confrontation in Ceylon, 1800–1880’, Social Compass, 1973, 20, 171–200.

26. Richard Fox Young, ‘An Early Sinhalese Buddhist Tract Against the Christian Doctrine of Creation’, Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft und Religionswissenschaft, 1985, 69, 44–53.

27. Anagarika Dharmapala, ‘Three Short Tracts on Buddhism and Christianity’, in A. Guruge (ed.), Return to Righteousness: A Collection of Speeches, Essays and Letters of the Anagarika Dharmapala (Government Press, 1965), pp. 447–50, 439–46.

28. Gunapala Dharmasiri, ‘A Buddhist Critique of the Christian Concept of God: Postscript’, A Buddhist Critique of the Christian Concept of God (Golden Leaves, 1988), pp. 259–71.

29. Jotiya Dhirasekera, ‘The Individual and Social Dimension of Salvation in Buddhism’, Dialogue N.S., 1982, 9, 73–82.

30. Maurice O’C. Walshe, ‘Buddhism and Christianity: A Positive Approach’, Dialogue N.S., 1982, 9, 3–39.

31. Bhikkhu Buddhadāsa, ‘God the Son’, Christianity and Buddhism (Bangkok, 1967), pp. 95–107.

32. Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki, ‘Crucifiction and Enlightenment’, Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist (Routledge, 2007), pp. 113–22.

33. Keiji Nishitani, ‘The Personal and the Impersonal in Religion’, Eastern Buddhist N.S., 1970, 3, 1, 13–18.

34. Masao Abe, ‘Kenosis and Emptiness’, in R. Corless and P. Knitter (eds.), Buddhist Emptiness and Christian Trinity: Essays and Explorations (Paulist, 1990), pp. 5–25.

35. Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ (Rider, 1995), pp. 34–59.

36. José Ignacio Cabezón, ‘Buddhist Views of Jesus’, in G. A. Barker (ed.), Jesus in the World’s Faiths: Leading Thinkers from Five Religions Reflect on His Meaning (Orbis, 2005), pp. 15–24.

37. John Makransky, ‘Buddha and Christ as Mediators of the Transcendent: A Buddhist Perspective’, in P. Schmidt-Leukel (ed.), Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue: The Gerald Weisfeld Lectures 2004 (SCM Press, 2005), pp. 176–99.

38. Takeda Ryusei, ‘Mutual Transformation of Pure Land Buddhism and Christianity: Methodology and Possibilities in the Light of Shinran’s Doctrine’, Bulletin of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, 1998, 22, 6–40.

39. Sugimoto Genkai, ‘Japanese Buddhists in the Monastery of Montserat’, Buddhist-Christian Studies, 1990, 10, 200–8.

40. Munehiro Niwano, ‘Encountering the Other in the Other’ (www.foculareasiatour.it) (revision of a translation by Massimo Rondolino).

41. Ruben Habito, ‘Being Buddhist, Being Christian: Being Both, Being Neither’, in J. D’Arcy May (ed.), Converging Ways? Conversion and Belonging in Buddhism and Christianity (EOS Verlag, 2007), pp. 165–80.

42. Whalen Lai, ‘Why is There Not a Buddho-Christian Dialogue in China?’, Buddhist-Christian Studies, 1986, 6, 81–96.

43. Xiangping Li, ‘A Case Study of Interreligious Relations in Contemporary China: Buddhist-Christian Interaction in Four Southeast Cities’, Ching Feng, 2004, 5, 1, 93–118.



Perry Schmidt-Leukel, ‘Buddhism’s Encounter and Interaction with Islam and Judaism’ (Introduction to Volume III).

44. Alex Berzin, ‘A Buddhist View of Islam’, in L. Ridgeon and P. Schmidt-Leukel (eds.), Islam and Inter-Faith Relations: The Gerald Weisfeld Lectures 2006 (SCM Press, 2007), pp. 225–51.

45. John Newman, ‘Eschatology in the Wheel of Time Tantra’, in D. S. Lopez (ed.), Buddhism in Practice (Princeton University Press, 1995), pp. 284–9.

46. Thuken Losang Chökyi Nyima, The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems: A Tibetan Study of Asian Religious Thought, ed. Roger R. Jackson, trans. Geshé Lhundup Sopa with E. Ann Chávez and Roger Jackson (Wisdom Publications, 2009), pp. 347, 383, 484, 494.

47. José Ignacio Cabezón, ‘Islam in the Tibetan Cultural Sphere’, in Gray Henry (ed.), Islam in Tibet & Tibetan Caravans (Fons Vitae, 1997), pp. 13–34.

48. Charles Keyes, ‘Muslim "Others" in Thailand’, Thammasat Review, 2008–9, 13, 1, 19–42.

49. Phra Paisan Visalo, ‘On the Path Toward Peace and Justice: Challenges Confronting Buddhists and Muslims’, Seeds of Peace, 2006, 22, 3, 15–20.

50. Iem Brow, ‘Contemporary Indonesian Buddhism and Monotheism’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 1987, 18, 1, 108–17.

51. Thomas Cleary, ‘Buddhism and Islam’, Transactions of the International Conference of Orientalists in Japan, 1982, 27, 31–8.

52. Toshihiko Izutsu, ‘An Analysis of Wahdat al-wujúd: Toward a Metaphilosophy of Oriental Philosophies’, Creation and the Timeless Order of Things: Essays in Islamic Mystical Philosophy (White Cloud Press, 1994), pp. 66–97.

53. Maria Reis Habito, ‘The Individual in Society in the Light of Early Buddhist Teachings and the Writings of Ayatollah Morteza Mutahhari’, in E.-M. Glasbrenner and C. Hackbarth-Johnson (eds.), Einheit der Wirklichkeiten: Festschrift Michael von Brück (Manya-Verlag, 2009), pp. 203–22.

54. Daisaku Ikeda and Majid Tehranian, ‘Spiritual and Religious Revivals’, Global Civilization: A Buddhist-Islamic Dialogue (British Academic Press, 2003), pp. 51–67.

55. Nathan Katz, ‘The Jewish Secret and the Dalai Lama: A Dharamsala Diary’, Conservative Judaism, 1991, 43, 3, 33–46.

56. The Dalai Lama, ‘Judaism: Faith of the Exile’, Towards the True Kinship of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together (Abacus, 2010), pp. 93–106.

57. Richard G. Marks, ‘The Garden in the Middle’, in H. Kasimow, J. P. Keenan, and L. Klepinger Keenan (eds.), Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2003), pp. 71–84.

58. Tadanori Yamashita, ‘A Comparison of the Concepts of Shema in Judaism and Sunyata in Buddhism’, Dialogue and Alliance, 1987, 45–52.

59. Walen Lai, ‘Inner Worldly Mysticism: East and West’, in H. Heifetz (ed.), Zen and Hasidism (Theosophical Publishing House, 1978), pp. 186–207.

60. Masao Abe, ‘Zen Buddhism and Hasidism. Similarities and Contrasts’, in S. Heine (ed.), Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue (Macmillan, 1995), pp. 159–65.

61. Todd Lavin, ‘Zero and One: Toward a Buddhist-Jewish Interfaith Dialogue’, in A. Golahny (ed.), Points of Contact: Crossing Cultural Boundaries (Bucknell University Press, 2004), pp. 141–57.

62. Jacob Teshima, ‘Insecurity of Life: The Hasidic Approach to Exile and The Zen Approach to Birth and Death’, Zen Buddhism and Hasidism (University Press of America, 1995), pp. 141–67.

63. ‘A Buddhist-Jewish Dialogue Between Masao Abe and Eugene B. Borrowitz’ (Masao Abe, ‘Kenotic God and Dynamic Sunyata’, in J. Cobb and C. Ives (eds.), The Emptying God: A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation (Orbis, 1990), pp. 39–55; Eugene B. Borowitz, ‘Dynamic Sunyata and the God Whose Glory Fills’, ibid., pp. 79–88; and M. Abe, ‘A Rejoinder’, ibid., pp. 184–8).

64. ‘A Buddhist-Jewish Dialogue Between Masao Abe and Richard L. Rubenstein’ (Richard L. Rubenstein, ‘Holocaust, Sunyata and Holy Nothingness: An Essay in Interreligious Dialogue’, in C. Ives (ed.), Divine Emptiness and Historical Fullness (Trinity Press International, 1995, pp. 93–112); and Masao Abe, ‘A Rejoinder’, ibid., pp. 178–83).

65. Yonatan N. Gez, ‘The Phenomenon of Jewish Buddhists in Light of the History of Jewish Suffering’, Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, 2011, 15, 44–68.

66. Norman Fischer, Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms (Penguin Compass, 2003), pp. xi–xxiv.


Perry Schmidt-Leukel, ‘Buddhism and the Challenge of Religious Pluralism’ (Introduction to Volume IV).

67. David Chappell, ‘Six Buddhist Attitudes Toward Other Religions’, in S. Sivaraksa (ed.), Radical Conservatism: Buddhism in the Contemporary World—Articles in Honour of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa’s 84th Birthday (Thai Inter-Religious Commission for Development, 1990), pp. 443–58.

68. Kristin Baise Kiblinger, ‘Identifying Inclusivism in Buddhist Contexts’, Contemporary Buddhism, 2003, 4, 1, 79–97.

69. Oliver Freiberger, ‘How the Buddha Dealt with Non-Buddhists’, in S. E. Lindquist (ed.), Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle (Anthem Press, 2011), pp. 185–96.

70. Jason Ānanda Josephson, ‘When Buddhism Became a "Religion": Religion and Superstition in the Writings of Inoue Enryō’, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 2006, 33, 1, 143–68.

71. Anagarika Dharmapala, ‘Buddhagama and the Religions of the World’, The Arya Dharma of Sakyamuni Gautama, The Buddha [1917] (Maha Bodhi Book Agency, 1989), pp. 1–13.

72. Kulatissa Nanda Jayatilleke, ‘The Buddhist Attitude to Other Religions’, The Wheel 216 [1966] (Buddhist Publication Society, 1975).

73. Yatadolawatte Dhammavisuddhi, ‘Does Buddhism Recognize Liberation from Samsara Outside its Own Dispensation?’, Dialogue N.S., 1986–7, 13/14, 40–51.

74. Lily de Silva, ‘The Buddha, the Eightfold Path and the Other Religions’, Dialogue N.S., 1988, 15, 84–100.

75. Richard P. Hayes, ‘Gotama Buddha and Religious Pluralism’, Journal of Religious Pluralism, 1991, 1, 65–96.

76. Bhikkhu Buddhadāsa, ‘No Religion!’, in D. Swearer (ed.), Me and Mine: Selected Essays of Bhikkhu Buddhadāsa (SUNY, 1989), pp. 146–55.

77. Bhikkhu Buddhadāsa, ‘Mutual Understanding of Each Other’s Religion’, Christianity and Buddhism (Bangkok, 1967), pp. 8–20, 22–25.

78. John Makransky, ‘Buddhist Perspectives on Truth in Other Religions: Past and Present’, Theological Studies, 2003, 64, 334–61.

79. Rita Gross, ‘Excuse Me, But What’s the Problem? Isn’t Religious Pluralism Normal?’, in P. Knitter (ed.), The Myth of Religious Superiority: Multifaith Explorations of Religious Pluralism (Maryknoll, 2005), pp. 75–87.

80. Judith Simmer Brown, ‘Pluralism and Dialogue: A Contemplation on the Dialogue Relationship’, in R. R. Jackson and J. Makransky (eds.), Buddhist Theology: Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars (RoutledgeCurzon, 2000), 312–30.

81. Paul Williams, ‘Some Dimensions of the Recent Work of Raimundo Panikkar: A Buddhist Perspective’, Religious Studies, 1991, 27, 511–21.

82. The Dalai Lama, ‘The Problem of Exclusivism’, Towards the True Kinship of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together (Abacus, 2010), pp. 145–61.

83. Jacqueline Stone, ‘Rebuking the Enemies of the Lotus: Nichirenist Exclusivism in Historical Perspective’, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 1994, 21, 2–3, 231–59.

84. Masao Abe, ‘A Dynamic Unity in Religious Pluralism: A Proposal from the Buddhist Point of View’, in J. Hick and H. Askari (eds.), The Experience of Religious Diversity (Gower, 1985), pp. 163–90.

85. Alfred Bloom, ‘Shin Buddhism in Encounter with a Religiously Plural World’, The Pure Land, 1992, 8–9, 17–31.

86. Kenneth Tanaka, ‘Buddhist Pluralism: Can Buddhism Accept Other Religions as Equal Ways?’, in P. Schmidt-Leukel (ed.), Buddhist Attitudes to Other Religions (EOS Verlag, 2008), pp. 69–84.

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Critical Concepts in Religious Studies

The Critical Concepts in Religious Studies series has continued to publish titles on the key subject area. Titles span across the religions and consider some of the most engaging areas of interest, including fundamentalism and ethics.

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