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Hans Kung says…Buddism 1, Christanity Zilch

September 11, 2007

Theologian Küng: Christianity Gets on Many People’s Nerves

According to a survey, not Christianity but Buddhism is the most likeable religion for Germans. How do you explain that?

Buddhism, in the West, is perceived as being free from dogmas, as a religion without many rules. It is a religion that’s turned to the inside and that emphasizes meditation. It is a religion, which has no anthropomorphic, concrete picture of the last reality.

The other is that Christianity — with its concentration of power — gets on many people’s nerves. When we have a pope, who claims that — as theological Lord of the world — only those who are with him are true Christians and that only his Roman-Catholic Church is the true church, it gets on many people’s nerves. Even though they don’t protest publicly, they will turn away and say they don’t want to have anything to do with that.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. rick allen permalink
    September 12, 2007 7:07 am

    I don’t know that this is altogether surprising. We see similar good feelings toward Christians in polls taken countries like India or Japan where Christians are a small minority and, on the whole, more visibly committed to charitable works.

    In America it takes considerable effort to become a Buddhist, and that handful of Buddhist I know closely are highly devoted to their calling. They certainly run quite high on the “likability” scale.

    And though Buddhism is perceived as a religion “without dogmas,” I think that’s largely because its actual teachings are not widely known. One may agree or not agree with the Four Noble Truths, but they certainly form a sort of core doctrine around which the many sects coalesce.

    There have certainly been attempts by those such as Stephen Bachelor to form a “Buddhism without Beliefs.” But that typically American kind of secularization is hardly typical of Buddhism as it is lived throughout the world.

  2. September 13, 2007 9:29 am

    I keep flashing back to Verna Dozier’s statement that the three great falls were Adam and Eve, the crucifixion of Christ, and the imperialization of Christianity by Constantine.

  3. September 13, 2007 1:07 pm

    Agreed Pisco – bigtime.

    The worst thing to happen to Christianity was to become the “state” religion.

    I don’t think Christ would have liked that much.

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