The Liberal Buddhist: a brief introduction

The mission of The Liberal Buddhist blog is to provide a forum for the exploration of the overlapping values of Buddhism and liberalism.  Specifically, the posts that appear here will highlight the various ways in which these two systems of thought – one ethical, the other political – complement one another.  More significantly, these posts will attempt to tease out from the combined tenets of liberalism and Buddhism potentially useful and unique perspectives on the critical issues confronting both the increasingly polarized American citizenry and the increasingly fragmented global community.

The purpose defined above rests on these two specific convictions, long held by this blogger:  first, that Buddhism, by virtue of its exhortation for us to embrace generosity, compassion, and wisdom, offers the most viable (and, perhaps, the only viable) path for resolving our national and global problems effectively and humanely; and second, that liberalism, by virtue of the priority it places on the welfare of the many over the welfare of the individual, offers the most natural (and, perhaps, the only natural) home for a politically engaged Buddhism.

 

2 thoughts on “The Liberal Buddhist: a brief introduction

  1. Hi Tom!

    I know just what you mean (in so far as we can ever know what somebody else means!) but the word ‘liberal’ has come to grate a little in UK at least after the ‘Liberals’ sellout to Toryism. But you’re quite right about a theoretical dedication to the welfare of the many. Here now that’s represented by Jeremy Corbyn, a true Socialist.

    Colin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment about the unfortunate connotation that’s come to be associated with the word ‘liberal’ in the UK really strikes home for me, Colin. Here in the US, the relentless assault on liberalism and liberal values by the conservative movement for the past four decades (beginning in earnest with Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980) has rendered the word ‘liberal’ all but toxic even to those of us who espouse those very values. So toxic indeed that it’s become standard for the American left to substitute the word ‘progressive’ for ‘liberal’. I’ve recently come to understand the negative unintended consequence of this semantic shift – that it unintentionally validates the false charges that conservatives have leveled against liberalism. Hence my deliberate choice to name this blog “The Liberal Buddhist” (and not, as I originally intended to name it, “The Progressive Buddhist”).

      Liked by 1 person

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