Confession of a Buddhist Atheist
Stephen Batchelor grew up outside London and came of age in the 1960s. Like other seekers of his...more
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I enjoy confessions, especially when they involve spiritual conturbation: Mark Matousek's Sex, Death, Enlightenment; Andrew Harvey's The Sun at Midnight; even Frank Schaeffer's half-cocked Crazy for God. I also (if rarely) appreciate oblique approaches to spirituality,...more
So concludes Stephen Batche...more
I felt like there are two books in this one: a story of his lifelong spiritual journey and then Batchelor's obsession...more
I think it's safe to say that Batchelor is a representative of Western Buddhism, whi...more
The first part of the book (its first third, roughly) appealed to me immensely, as Mr. Batchelor recounts the path that took him from eager convert to Tibetan Buddhism, to that of a secular thinker critical of the modern edifice of his chosen religion. Unfortunately, in the second part Stephen Batchelor is more conc...more
Batchelor makes this confession near the end of his book, but it was already pretty apparent by this point. This book started out as his story, a nice little Bildungsroman of his journey as a Buddhist--but then it veers off into a discussion of the historical fi...more
Really, it’s not. It is not an affront to your existence. It is about science. It is about questioning and searching for answers. It is about thinking for oneself.
For the God-themed issue of Zen Dixie, I read three books on atheism. No, these books did not provide me with any life-changing realizations – it was more like, as “they” say, “preaching to the choir.”
Yes, I am an atheist. No, I do not believe in anyone else’s God. And, like I said in the opening paragraph, my a...more
In the first half of this book, Stephen Batchelor tells the story of his transformations from a young secular English hippie to a monk in Dharamsala studying in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, to a monk in a Korean Zen monastery and finally to a "lay Buddhist" trying to live an authentic Buddhist life without religion. Buddhist in practice, but not in ideology. I would call it maximum entropy Buddhism, meaning basically that unproven assertions are left out. The panoply of deities sits by the r...more
This is essentially two books in one. Ba...more
There are many issues in Buddhism which have not been researched into, those specially dealing with creating a more personal and human image of Buddha and process of the development of his Dhamma, and this book does the task. After reading it, I find that my focus and belie...more
Stephen Batchelor goes further down this path of question what exactly the Buddha taught - and what was added later as Buddhism spread through dif...more
The autobiography was pleasant to read, it is a good story. The story of the historical Buddha's life as reconstructed from the Pali texts using, of all things, a reference dictionary of names, to reassble the jumbled story...more
I picked this up (and his previous volume, Buddhism without Beliefs) because for some time now I've identified with Buddhist philosophy, if not with Buddhist theology. I thought these books might speak to that for me, and indeed they have.
Some context: I've also had a long term affinity for many Jewish teachings, but a deep discomfort with many tradi...more
So I devoured the first section of the book detailing Stephen Batchel...more