Comments on “The Crumbling Buddhist Consensus: Preface”

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Marie Ramos 2011-06-07

I guess I question if there ever really was anything resembling consensus. How do you measure consensus? The books being published? The podcasts being produced? Not just Shambhala Sun and Tricycle I hope.

David Chapman 2011-06-07

Well, yes, I think there was (and still mostly is) a “mainstream” consensus about various things. I’ll spell that out in the upcoming page where I define what the consensus was. Examples: consensus Western Buddhism is—supposedly—egalitarian, democratic, anti-hierarchy, ecumenical, accepts all religious traditions (except of course Bad forms of Buddhism), respects and sometimes incorporates psychotherapy, is ecologically aware, talks about social justice, promotes internal and external peace, etc.

Does that make it clearer what consensus I’m talking about? (Maybe I need to clarify the page?)

Of course, some people have always been outside the consensus; but they were marginal. Sometimes just obscure, but also sometimes deliberately marginalized.

“How do you measure” is an excellent question, which I don’t expect to address. It’s one of the many kinds of fact-checking that I have to omit if I’m going to get this series written in time for it to be useful.

Harri A Hannula 2011-06-20

Western Buddhist Consensus = The Buddhist Front of the Neo-Gramscian Operatives


Good to hear that they are losing their hegemony.

David Chapman 2011-06-20

@ Harri — yes, I’ve had “cultural hegemony” in mind throughout writing this series. I’ve avoided using the term because it may be unfamiliar to most readers. But that describes exactly what I think the Consensus has tried to accomplish, with partial success.

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