Saturday, September 30, 2017

Reading "Faith"

I was struck in the reading about how often a child will be introduced to religion and religious symbols before they enter school.  My earliest memory was Christmas, though at the time I didn’t recognize it as a Christian holiday.  I must have been only three at the time and it was a magical memory for me. 
There was no discussion of Jesus or Catholicism, I was just moved by the merriment.  I must have been no older than three years old.  It seemed that religion has actually become more of a fine point in American culture as I grew up.
I understand that it was expected in polite society that religion and politics was not discussed.  I can see why. 
I would be much older when I became much more aware of religion.  I had a teacher in elementary school who was Jewish.  I was even older when I realized that not all Christians get along. 
In this discussion of development, I wondered if we were better off if we didn’t see religion as something to talk about—but simply kept quiet and respected. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Reading Stages of Faith

I'm reading Stages of Faith by James Fowler for one of my classes.  It’s interesting reading about “faith,” particularly since it is usually a word associated with Christianity.  I’d used in reference to Buddhism also.  I’d say my “faith tradition” is Buddhism.  Or I’d describe myself as a person of faith.  I used it because it was easier but I’m glad to see that it is being adopted into this American Buddhism. 

Fowler’s Stages of faith made me wonder about the implicit bias we may have growing up in a predominantly Christian country.  How many of our Abrahamic ideals are ingrained from childhood and are part of our psyche without us knowing it?  I wonder how this will affect Buddhism.  An example of this is how reincarnation is not being taken seriously in western countries, I believe.  Are we cafeteria Buddhists, only taking aspects of the religion we don't like?