Institutional Repository

Buddhism and culture : the search for definitions

Item

Author

Lancaster, Lewis R.

Date

2005

Volume

6

Pages

31-39

ISSN

1530-4108

Abstract

The problems associated with the definition of the word "culture" are crucial to our understanding of how it can be used in Humanistic Buddhism. Culture as the highest and best of human endeavors reflects itself in Buddhist art and literature. The question of how to deal with culture that is seen as the "ordinary" creates a very different context.

If all ordinary human activity can be considered as "culture" then how does this relate to the Buddhist practice and thought? Nationalism, racial divisions, and regional identities bring another set of issues regarding the nature of culture. In our contemporary world, technology has become a major factor in cultural activities, including the blurring of the boundaries between organized inorganic matter such as silicon chips and the organic capacity of the cortex. All of these complexities indicate that "culture" presents us with the full array of human efforts and material productions.


File version: Final