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Full-Text Articles in Religion

The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma Jan 2011

The New Atheists' Narrow World-View, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses atheism, Buddhism, and the practice of animism in southeast Asia. Atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are discussed as is the argument regarding the "provincialism" of religion. It is noted that some atheists echo the statement by philosopher Karl Marx that religion is an opiate that should be done away with because it has little moral value. The use of spirit houses as a part of religious practice in southeast Asia is described. The opinion held by theists on animism is explored. Other topics include living conditions in Cambodia and the role of religion in ...


Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma Feb 2010

Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Profound and amusing, this book provides a viable approach to answering the perennial questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How can I live a meaningful life? For Asma, the answers are to be found in Buddhism.

There have been a lot of books that have made the case for Buddhism. What makes this book fresh and exciting is Asma's iconoclasm, irreverence, and hardheaded approach to the subject. He is distressed that much of what passes for Buddhism is really little more than "New Age mush." He loudly asserts that it is time to "take the California out ...


The Desert Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James F. Mcgrath Dec 2009

The Desert Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James F. Mcgrath

James F. McGrath

The movie The Matrix and its sequels draw explicitly on imagery from a number of sources, including in particular Buddhism, Christianity, and the writings of Jean Baudrillard. A perspective is offered on the perennial philosophical question ‘What is real?’, using language and symbols drawn from three seemingly incompatible world views. In doing so, these movies provide us with an insight into the way popular culture makes eclectic use of various streams of thought to fashion a new reality that is not unrelated to, and yet is nonetheless distinct from, its religious and philosophical undercurrents and underpinnings.


Buddha For Beginners, Stephen Asma Dec 2008

Buddha For Beginners, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Originally published by Writers and Readers in 1998, this is an iconoclastic, illustrated romp through the life of the Buddha both a credible exploration of his life and teachings and an entertaining introduction to the philosophy of Buddhism.

Many Westerners know about the meditation practices of Buddhism, but few understand the Buddha's philosophical teachings. This book puts the teachings (dharma) in their proper context and unravels some of the more dense knots of Buddha's thinking. And it does all this while entertaining the reader with humorous illustrations and pop-culture sensibility. This primer, constructed like a graphic novel, cuts ...


The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment In The Land Of The Tattered Buddha, Stephen Asma Apr 2006

The Gods Drink Whiskey: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment In The Land Of The Tattered Buddha, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Asma, a professor of Buddhism at Columbia College in Chicago and the author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads (2001), recounts his intense and revelatory Cambodian adventures while teaching at Phnom Penh's Buddhist Institute. In an electrifying and frank mix of hair-raising anecdotes and expert analysis, he explicates the vast difference between text-based Buddhist teachings and daily life in a poor and politically volatile Buddhist society. Amid tales of massage parlors, marijuana-spiced pizza, and bloodshed, he cogently explains how Theravada Buddhism, the form practiced throughout Southeast Asia, differs from the Buddhism Westerners are familiar with, and how entwined it ...


Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning Of Life And Buddhism, Stephen Asma Mar 2006

Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning Of Life And Buddhism, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

From the 1970s cult TV show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to the current hit musical Spamalot, the Monty Python comedy troupe has been at the center of popular culture and entertainment. The Pythons John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam are increasingly recognized and honored for their creativity and enduring influence in the worlds of comedy and film. Monty Python and Philosophy extends that recognition into the world of philosophy. Fifteen experts in topics like mythology, Buddhism, feminism, logic, ethics, and the philosophy of science bring their expertise to bear on Python movies ...


Conflicting Visions Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James Mcgrath Dec 2003

Conflicting Visions Of The Real: Christianity, Buddhism & Baudrillard In The Matrix Films And Popular Culture, James Mcgrath

James F. McGrath

James McGrath's contribution to the proceedings of the first global conference of the Cyberworlds, Virtual Reality project, which took place from Monday 11 August - Wednesday 13 August 2003, in Prague, as part of the At the Interface conference series.


The Dynamics Of Attention: Core Of The Contemplative Way, Philip Novak Jan 1984

The Dynamics Of Attention: Core Of The Contemplative Way, Philip Novak

Philip Novak

"I am suggesting, then, that in the long haul of planetary evolution, spiritually questing men from various cultures have commonly discovered that here in the mind's inchoate ability to remain attentive there dwelt the fundamental meas of awakening to the full meaning of existence. For attention, as I will presently and briefly suggest, is the core and common denominator of all man's higher form of contemplative praxis, And later I will be attempting to suggest how a little thing like attention may be thought to transform even the deep and unconscious structural determinants of consciousness." ~ from the article