In Case You Missed It: Buddhism Study Group Session 3, Tuesday May 23, 2017

Tuesday May 23, 2017 from 7-8pm the CCOB held our third study group on Buddhism under the instruction of Carol Davis.  In case you missed it, here is an overview of what we learned.

Intro

  • Carol read an excerpt from a book by Marcus Borg called Jesus and the Buddha. *NOTE: Marcus Borg was a well-known New Testament scholar who was an influential voice in Progressive Christianity.  A compilation of his writings called Days of Awe and Wonder: How to Be A Christian in the 21st Century was just released in March 2017 not long after Borg passed away. Click the link for more info.

 

Similarities in Scriptures between Christianity & Buddhism 

We found several comparisons in scriptures and discussed their similarities and differences. Here are 3 examples we discussed that you may also consider:

  1. Fear and control: Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid (John 14:27) vs. May fear and dread not conquer me (Majjhima Nikaya 6.8)
  2. Sin: Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin (John 8:34) vs. People compelled by craving crawl like snared rabbits (Dhammapada 24.9)
  3. Truth: You will know the truth and the truth will make you free (John 8:32) vs. One who acts on truth is happy in this world and beyond (Dhammapada 13.2)

Discussion

We had a stimulating conversation about the following question: Are world religions culturally linguistic? Meaning, do we give our own names to things that could be similar, or do we use simply name them based upon our own cultural understanding?

If this is correct, we must understand the specific culture and language that goes into a faith. The Church of the Brethren, for instance, is a lot different today than when it was founded. How often are our differences simply cultural and linguistic?

Another point we arrived at was that the Bible itself is written in different languages and contains a vast diversity of culture and language.  Just something to ponder.

 

Comparisons

For the last activity, we filled out a chart with various topics and compared the similarities and differences of each.  Below is an example of a one topic we discussed.

Topic Similarities Differences
  1. Earthly Lives
*Both Jesus and the Buddha rebelled against religious elite

*Both underwent long periods of testing, temptation

*Both had disciples who spread faith

*Both figures renounced worldly riches

*The way they died (Jesus on the cross as opposed to Buddha and bad meat)

*Claim on divinity

 

Conclusion

To close the evening, Carol gave us a handout called the ¨12 laws of Karma that will change your life¨ (find it here by clicking the link).  Our next meeting will be two weeks from today Tuesday June 8 . This meeting will be a study of the book Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (check the link for pricing on Amazon, it is very affordable, just $0.60 on Kindle).  

The study group will culminate with our June 23rd trip to the Chicago Buddhist Center. Please let us know if you´re interested in attending (fill out contact form through this website). Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of their participation in the class.

To find out more info on our other study sessions of Buddhism, click the links below:

  1. In Case You Missed It: Buddhism Study Group Session 1, Tuesday May 9, 2017
  2. In Case You Missed It: Buddhism Study Group Session 2, Tuesday May 16, 2017

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