2011 Lyceum Papers

Lyceum 2011: Spiritual Studies From a Global Perspective: The Ongoing East-West Dialogue

Title: Buddhism and Unity A Sacred Marriage or Strange Bedfellows 
Author: Robert Brumet

 

Ultimate reality/ truth is found by development of one's cons rather than creeds, rules, rituals or sacraments. Truth is within- not external.

Title: Growth of Buddhism in America 
Author: Barbara Hadley

 

It is estimated that there are five to six million Buddhists in the United States. As an emergent religion, Buddhism's emphasis on mindfulness, meditation, peacefulness and social action—sometimes described as “engaged Buddhism”—is having an impact on everything from environmental justice to hospice care. It's an “out of the monastery, into the living room” experience.

Title: Via Negativa v The Via Positiva  
Author: Deb Hill-Davis

 

What is the relationship of matter to Spirit and Spirit to matter?  This question is at the crux of the discernment of the mystics and theologians of all ages.  What is it to “know” God?  The search to understand this relationship of Spirit to our human condition, to suffering, to salvation or enlightenment is at the bottom of the human desire to understand the nature of God and the nature of man and the complex interrelationship of the two natures.

Title: Metaphysical Spirituality  
Author: Tony O. Harris

 

Man has a need to understand his/her origin and to understand his/her origin is to go back to the first principal, which is the Creator.  It is almost vaporous, attempting to understand an elusive Creator. The more we learn, the more there is to learn is man's experience trying to understand an infinite Creator through the faculties of a finite mind.

Title: The Universal Use of Symbols for Teaching 
Author: Cynthia Holt

 

A symbol, for the purpose of this paper, is simply something that represents something else.  I place symbols into four categories: the basic symbol, the analogue, the metaphor, and the object lesson.  All symbols used in teaching fall into one of these four groups.

Title: Syncretism or Symbiosis 
Author: Aimme Upjohn Light

 

The thesis of this paper is that the domination of the concept of “syncretism” in Buddhist studies is falling out of favor.  Instead, the next generation of scholars is beginning to analyze the mixing and multiplicity of religions is Asia as “hybridiziation.”

Title: Christianity and Buddhism in Confrontation With the Modern Secular World 
Author: Bruce Long

 

This paper is framed by a presentation of a variety of core beliefs in both Christianity and Buddhism.  First, some of the central teachings of Jesus and the Church and The Buddha and the Buddhist tradition will be summarized; then those central beliefs in each tradition are compared and contrasted with some of the issues.

Title: Existentialism and Christian Zen  
Author: A. William McVey

 

“Some years ago,” William Johnston suggests that “Arnold Toynbee declared that when the historian of a thousand years from now comes to write the history of our time, he will be preoccupied not with the Viet Nam war, not with the struggle between capitalism and communism, not with racial strife, but with what happened when, for the first time, Christianity and Buddhism began to penetrate one another deeply.”

 Title: I am Buddho-Christian
Author: Arturo Mora

 

For generations, from at least the mid-19th century, and probably long before that, Christians have been at the very least influenced by Eastern spiritual ideas, and some have created an “enlightened Christianity” that keeps the mother faith intact and enhances it with these strange and wonderful new practices.

 Title: Meister Eckhart and the Buddha
Author: Elizabeth Mora

 

Two of the greatest mystics of all time were Meister Eckhart and the Buddha.  Today, each has an impressive level of popularity in modern teachings and writings.  One can often find them quoted in the same text, often in support of each other.

 Title: How Unity Adopted Eastern Religious Ideas  
Author: Eric Page

 

This paper will begin by describing Unity's Christian origins as well as the religious and literary transmission of Hindu and Buddhist ideas into its theology.  It will explore the people and books that influenced Unity's founders.  Ultimately Unity's application of syncretism, mysticism and spiritual evolution allowed for the integration of Eastern religious concepts.

 Title: Jesus: A Middle Eastern Man Created in a Western Image
Author: Jennifer L. Sacks

 

To know who Jesus was—if one ever can truly know that—theologians must work with available materials and references, as well as establish a methodology for determining their value.  Once the exploration begins, one can see that many theologians and historians share similar views, while others diverge, arguing for or against various aspects of the truth of Jesus's life, ministry and death.

 Title: Dialogical Transformation
Author: Jesse F. Tanner

 

It is a fundamental supposition of this paper that the most practical, peaceful, and thus productive answer to our growing pluralistic environment has been and continues to be intentional dialogue and engagement among people of differing religions in an atmosphere of equality and respect. This is grounded in the practical experience and theoretical analysis of interreligious relations undertaken by various religious practitioners and thinkers, including myself.

 Title: Science, Evolution, and Naturalism Christian and Buddhist Perspectives
Author: Eric Thomas

 

A few years ago, the Dalai Lama published a short book on Buddhism and modern science. Entitled The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, the Dalai Lama ranged from the Big Bang to the smallest atom, from evolution to biomedical ethics, giving his Buddhist perspective on various scientific issues.

 Title: Four Global Perspectives of God or Ultimate Reality
Author: Mlen-Too Wesley

 

“Some years ago,” William Johnston suggests that “Arnold Toynbee declared that when the historian of a thousand years from now comes to write the history of our time, he will be preoccupied not with the Viet Nam war, not with the struggle between capitalism and communism, not with racial strife, but with what happened when, for the first time, Christianity and Buddhism began to penetrate one another deeply.”