Category General

Talking to Knut Melvær about the term ‘Spirituality’

Originally posted on Philosophy & Religion Video Interviews:
In this video, Dr David Webster asks Knut Melvær about the notion of Spirituality – and Knut gives us some of the historical context: ——- See the Religion, Philosophy & Ethics course blog at

Anger, and its risks

I’ve just had a piece go up at  From early comments maybe I should have been clearer that my goal was, by the end of the short piece, to distinguish between types of anger. The Buddhist typology I spoke of is clearly not about anger – but the way things like Abhidhamma texts examine cittas such as chanda – […]

Should a Buddhist Monastic hold Political Views: An Example from the Māgandiya-sutta

Originally posted on Dr Paul Fuller: Buddhist Studies:
In 1963 Thich Nhat Hanh coined the term Engaged Buddhism.  This type of Buddhism asks certain question, for example, should the layman simply acquire merit and seek a better rebirth? Should the monk simply be a field of merit? Should not the layperson also meditate? Should the…

Life Extension and Fear of Death

So, I read this morning a  piece on The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies website about ‘Life Extension’. The piece itself (Don’t Drag Me Along into Your Grave, Daniel Callahan) by Maria Konovalenko is quite normal in regards of life-extension arguments. It makes ethical claims that failing to ‘treat’/look for a ‘cure’ to death is like being […]

No, really, what does Christian theology want from philosophy?

Originally posted on An und für sich:
Back in 2009 I asked the question, “what does (certain) contemporary Christian theology want from philosophy?” No one from among the “certain” Christian theologians answered the question. Hardly surprising, as they rarely do answer questions, or engage outside of their own very closed circles. Perhaps it has…

Is Mind-Body-Spirit (MBS) Spirituality Necessarily Individualistic?

Originally posted on Theoglos:
Our colleague Dave Webster’s latest book Dispirited (Winchester/Washington: Zero Books, 2012) argues, among other things, that the form of spirituality promoted by MBS advocates tends to be individualistic and fosters disengagement from the socio-political sphere.  Webster is in good company as this is also argued by, amongst others, Robert N. Bellah,…

on mindfulness, muggles, & crying wolf

Originally posted on 108zenbooks:
I try. Really, I do. This month has been bubbling with various posts on Eastern scholars decrying Western Mindfulness. It began with Ron Purser and David Loy’s HuffPo article, Beyond McMindfulness which is likely the first time anyone from the Buddhist scholarship community has overtly taken on the therapeutic, coaching Mindfulness machine.…


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