Buddhism strengthens ties to church [Excerpts]
What in the recent past seemed exotic and foreign is now almost routinely folded into "the fold."
Buddhism is not only accepted as a mainstream American religion, it is a path increasingly trod by faithful Christians and Jews who infuse Eastern spiritual insights and practices such as meditation into their own religions.
When John Weber became a Buddhist at age 19, his devout Methodist parents were not particularly pleased.
In recent years, however, they've invited their son, a religious studies expert with Boulder's Naropa University, to speak at their church about Buddhism.
"That never would have happened before," Weber said. "They would have been embarrassed."
The Pew Forum's Religious Landscape Survey in 2007 found that seven in 10 Americans who have a religion believe there is more than one path to salvation. A growing number of people are contemplating more than one each.
And they are contemplating contemplation itself.
There are Jubus — Jews who bring Buddhism into their practice of Judaism — and Bujus, who are Buddhists with Jewish parents. Then there are UUbus, or Unitarian Universalist Buddhists, and Ebus, or Episcopalian Buddhists. There are Zen Catholics.
"There is a definite trend and movement that will not be reversed," said Ruben Habito, a laicized Jesuit priest, Zen master and professor of world religions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "We are in a new spiritual age, an inter-religious age."
(Draper, The Denver Post, 8/9/09, http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13023827 )
[TBC: “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy:3:7).]