If we can think about the religious journey as a diagnosis and prescription for the human condition, we can begin to see what hangs on how we answer the question of what sort of problem a human being presents to themselves and their world. We can't have a prognosis until we determine a diagnosis.
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece drawing out how Buddhism and Christianity provide different answers to the question "what sort of problem is a human being?" In particular, the Buddhist and the Christian diverge in how they conceptualize the problem which is presented by consciousness. Rather, speaking even more precisely, they both recognize the problem it poses for the human being – its operates as the fountainhead of suffering – but they depart company in how they develop their respective solutions. Their divergence here reveals some deeper commitments which need to be made explicit in order for dialogue to function.
A few years ago, I published a paper which served as something of an introduction to the thought of Nishitani Keiji of the Kyoto School, as well as a dialogue and attempted reconciliation between Heidegger and his Zen interlocutors, but in writing the piece I ultimately arrived at what I take to be a stark delineation of the impasse which plagues any inter-religious dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism.
I'm happy to re-release that piece in a newly stylized PDF which I am giving away for FREE. Click the button below to visit my page at Ko-Fi to download the PDF for free today.
Here are a couple images from inside the first few pages of the artifact:
If you're interesting in Martin Heidegger, nothingness, hermeneutics, Buddhism, the Kyoto School, Nishitani Keiji, philosophical anthropology, or inter-religious dialogue, then this piece will have something to stimulate your reflection.
If you do take the time to read it, please reach out to me! I would love to hear your feedback, as well as any questions or comments about the piece itself. I plan to post more on the Kyoto School, Japanese philosophy, and the encounter between Buddhism and Christianity, so don't forget to subscribe to receive the latest from Samsara Diagnostics.
Note that you can also support Samsara Diagnostics by buying from my affiliate shop at Bookshop.org, including Nishitani's Religion and Nothingness which provides one of the foundations of this article.