2009 Archives

Buddhism strengthens ties to church


The following is from the August 9, 2009, edition of The Denver Post. Ruben Habito,  a Zen master and professor of world religions in SMU's Dedman College, provided expertise for this story.

August 11, 2009

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

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. . .

"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."

People are hungry for a deeper spiritual experience — meditation, mindfulness, personal transformation, deep insight, union with God or the universe.

Habito, who calls himself a Zen Catholic, is one of the experts who say the search is a little like Dorothy and her ruby slippers. The quest for meaning ultimately leads some, like Dorothy, to their own backyards. . . 

"Buddhism is more about spiritual practice than believing in certain doctrines," Habito said. "There are more definitive and particular requirements for saying 'I am a Christian.' "

Read the full story.

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