Buddhism and Christianity are incompatible because there is no God in Buddhism - particularly in Theravada Buddhism. But they are also allies because their values and practices are compatible and they can work together - indeed, they would benefit greatly from doing so.

— Ninian Smart

The most fantastic Ninian Smart quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

I think the attractiveness of Buddhism is that it doesn't involve a belief in God. That appeals to a lot of people - intellectuals and well-educated people in particular.

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The fact of the matter is that Buddhism has changed a lot.

When St. Francis of Xavier arrived in Japan, he wrote back to the Vatican and made a joke. "It is unfortunate," he said, "that the Lutherans were here before me." By this he meant that Pure Land Buddhism was so much like Lutheranism.

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I would like to see an agreement that recognizes that we live on the same planet and that some interests, such as human rights, must be universal and that all religions must be respected.

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Children become more liberal partly as a reaction to their parents and partly through education. Education tends to make people a bit softer.

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To put it a little crudely, these days nobody is afraid of excommunication.

If they decide they don't want to be Catholic anymore and want to become Episcopalians or Hindus, they just do it. The churches no longer have the disciplinary powers to keep their followers in check. That means that they have to accept much more feeding up from below than they had to in the past.

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Syncretism can be disturbing to people.

They have often been taught, "You have to have solid faith and must be sure of your religion," and so on. They fear that they might be threatened by these new developments and mergings. So you get a backlash against it.

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I don't regard fundamentalism in the United States or in Europe as a terrible threat, partly because it is a self-curing disease. The younger generation drifts away, so fundamentalists always have to recruit to keep up with themselves.

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Life is very difficult and we owe it to our fellow human beings to be as cheerful as we can.

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I've often admired the way many Catholics who have left the priesthood, for example, have nevertheless remained sincere Catholics. They voted with their feet.

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Tolerance has been a very important feature of Christianity from its very roots, despite all the other things that have gone on since. And that, I think, must be the global perspective. Tolerance implies more than saying, "Well, let the Muslims go on with what they are doing." It also means trying to learn something from them and adding that to your own tradition. That is the attitude I think needs to inform the global citizen of the future.

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People now have their own particular religion - a denomination of one.

I suppose it's a part of the new age phenomenon, but it's much wider than that. On the whole, I would say that is healthy. But I think it was always there, secretly.

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One of the effects of religions getting together is that they borrow from one another. An example is the growing number of Catholics who are practicing Yoga and meditation techniques borrowed from Buddhism and Hinduism. So there are these borrowings which I think fertilize the religions.

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About Ninian Smart

Quotes 16 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday May 6, 1927

I don't think religions will merge into a great global faith.

But I do believe we're moving toward a global ideology that has a place for religion and recognizes the contributions of the different traditions. Hopefully, it will have an overarching view as to how we can work together for the promotion of human values and spirituality.

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If you were going to be attracted to a mystical faith which involved the contemplative life, Buddhism would be quite reasonable. But then, not everybody is a budding mystic. In fact, it's pretty certain that very few people are. So another kind of religion, one that was perhaps more pragmatic and service-oriented, might appeal to those others. So I think you have to take your values into account.

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A central feature of the ceremonial associated with Mithras was the taurobolium, the ritual slaughter of a bull which commemorated and repeated Mithras' primeval act. The initiate was baptized in its blood, partaking of its life-giving properties. It may be noted that this part of the ceremonial closely resembled the ritual of the cult of Cybele, the Great Mother of Asia Minor, which had been brought to Rome three centuries before Christ.

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